What Should I Do to Repair My Asphalt Driveway Cracks?Posted on June 25, 2021 by Rafael Cantillo
Every building with a driveway or parking lot must look after its asphalt. Poured correctly and well-maintained, asphalt pavement can last for nearly 20 years. However, it still requires steady maintenance over time. A driveway should be resealed about every 3 years and often, asphalt driveway cracks develop and need to be repaired more frequently than that.
If your driveway develops a crack, that crack is likely to spread over time unless you fill it. Cracks grow because the stressors that caused the original crack continue to press on the pavement. In many cases, moisture that gets into the now-unsealed pavement then expands when it freezes or evaporates, pushing the pavement further apart.
Any venue with a cracked pavement should take a few smart steps to ensure that crack stops in its tracks. Discourage new cracks with good asphalt maintenance.
I Have Asphalt Driveway Cracks. What Should I Do?
Do you have cracks in your asphalt driveway or parking lot? The next steps are easy to plan if you know what to do. Follow these three steps to protect your pavement and repair the cracks before they have a chance to grow larger.
Schedule Repairs in a Timely Fashion
Never leave asphalt driveway cracks to fester. Cracks only grow with time and they create a weak point in your asphalt for greater damage. As soon as you notice a driveway crack, start making plans to book a crack filling service.
Apply Sealcoat to the Area
Cracks indicate a weak area in the asphalt. One of the best ways to protect your pavement around the crack is to apply a fresh layer of sealcoat. Sealcoat is the sealant used on top of asphalt to prevent erosion and discourage cracks. Applying sealcoat around the crack can reduce the risk of additional cracks in the nearby pavement.
Fill the Cracks with Crackfill Solution
Inject a crackfill solution into the cracks and allow the filler to dry. Crackfill both reinforces the space between the crack - preventing further erosion - and seals the crack from allowing moisture into the asphalt surface. Wait for the crackfill to dry before putting your driveway back into use.
What is Crackfill?
Crackfill is a super-heated rubber solution that is pressed into cracks to bond both sides. Professionals inject crackfill into cracked asphalt pavement to fill the crack. As the solution cools, it contracts and pulls the sides of the crack together with a water-proof seal.
Because of the adhesive constriction, crackfill both fills the crack and prevents the asphalt from expanding to crack further along the same lines. It is the ideal way to save your asphalt with a quick and effective solution to spreading pavement cracks.
The rubber solution also blocks all moisture from entering the crack from the top or sides. Moisture inside your asphalt strata is bad news because of its response to the weather. Water molecules expand when they heat up or freeze, then contract again. Moisture in the subbase of asphalt is the primary cause of pavement cracks, potholes, and depressions. Crackfill prevents moisture from getting into repaired cracks, protecting the rest of your asphalt from the effects.
What Does Crackfill Do? How Does it Work?
Pavement crackfill fills in asphalt driveway cracks with a solution that then becomes adhesive and waterproof. It holds the pavement together and prevents moisture from getting into the cracks or expanding the damage.
Fills in the Crack
Professionals inject crackfill into pavement cracks, much like caulking for insulation or plumbing. However, instead of caulk, it is a super-heated rubber solution that forms a water-tight seal as it dries.
Flexes with the Pavement
The rubber also allows the crack to flex with the pavement. Asphalt driveway cracks occur when the subbase moves. Often, the ground will swell and retract based on the season's rainfall and recent temperatures. Crackfill's flexibility allows it to maintain the seal when the subbase swells or shifts with the weather.
Prevents Water Penetration
The rubber substance prevents water from passing through the layer of crackfill solution. When crackfill seals both sides of the asphalt driveway crack, no water can get into the under-layers of asphalt through the crack. Like bandaging a wound, crackfill seals the open surface of your pavement and protects it from potentially damaging particles. In this case, it protects against water that expands to form more cracks.
How Long Does Crackfill Take to Dry?
It takes about an hour for crackfill to dry.
Crackfill is super-heated before it is applied. It will need to cool completely and then dry completely before the cracks should be driven on. Fortunately, crack fill dries very fast for a pavement repair solution.
Hot crackfill takes 30 minutes to an hour to dry completely. You can speed up the process by helping the hot crackfill to cool with a little water. Use a hose and a light spray over the hot crackfill to help bring down the temperature.
How Long Will My Driveway Be Closed When I Fill the Cracks?
If you need to repair your asphalt driveway cracks, set aside two or three hours to shut down the area. Crackfill is extremely efficient once applied and takes about an hour to transition from hot to completely dry. Give yourself enough time to set up and apply the crackfill, then allow the crackfill to dry. Because this doesn't take long, your driveway will be out of commission for only a few hours.
Businesses can often schedule a crack filling closure for hours when the building is not in use. Weekends, evenings, or early mornings can give you plenty of time to fill the cracks and wait the appropriate amount of time without inconveniencing your regular drivers.
Preventing Asphalt Driveway Cracks with Quick Repairs and Regular Re-Sealant
Once you have had your cracks sealed with crackfill, consider a fresh layer of sealcoat for your driveway or parking lot. Sealcoat is typically applied once every three years, but many venues overlook this maintenance schedule due to a lack of asphalt experience. If your pavement is due for a new layer of sealcoat, this can be the best way to prevent more cracks and potholes in the near future.
Like crackfill, a layer of sealcoat will prevent moisture from penetrating your asphalt and then expanding to cause cracks. It can also reseal the surface of your asphalt to slow the erosion of the top layer of medium.
Looking for asphalt crack repair services in Southern California for your driveway or parking lot? The Empire Parking Lot team is ready to help. Contact us at 714-633-0300 to have our experienced team assist you with your next asphalt repair project.