This can't be stressed enough! When cracks start to appear in your parking lot they need to be sealed quickly. Think of your parking lot like your teeth. When you start to get a small cavity you will want to get it filled as soon as possible. Otherwise you're facing an expensive root canal or worse.
Asphalt is the same way in that cracks lead to larger and more costly repairs. The good news is that crack sealing is an inexpensive repair that can be performed year round. It works simply by keeping water out of the area between your asphalt and the dirt it sits on.
By sealing cracks early on, you are effectively extending the lifespan of the pavement by preventing additional water erosion that seeps into the asphalt. Crack sealing can also reduce the chance for trip hazards and other liability issues happening. Lastly, crack sealing helps property managers and owners buy time between the more costly repairs that are needed.
There are a lot of reason's your asphalt will crack but the main suspects are sun and water. The sun's ultra violet rays are always beating down on your pavement, drying it out, and causing it to become more brittle. The water that comes from weather or irrigation runoff seeps into those newly formed cracks, and starts the erosion process that eventually becomes the pothole. Cracks can come from many other sources as well. Earth movement, heavy traffic loads, or poor construction design and repairs. The main type of cracks found in parking lots include fatigue cracks, reflective cracks, and block cracks.
Not all crack repair products are the same. Hot pour crack sealants are considered by many to be superior to cold pour sealants. We at Empire believe that to be true based on our experiences as well.
Hot pour materials are designed for cracks up to 3/4" (three quarters of an inch) typically found in parking lots. Larger cracks up to 1" can still be sealed by this method to avoid more expensive future repairs, however the products typically aren't designed to stand-up to these types of larger cracks and voids. In those cases we would recommend asphalt repair.
For more information about why we choose hot pour sealants, check out this 2006 study by the center for transportation research at the University of Texas at Austin. We do offer cold pour sealants for smaller projects, however customers should keep in mind that they are very limited in their abilities, and we only recommend them on very small repair projects that make hot pour crack repairs cost prohibitive.
Empires crack sealing process is identical to the one used by most local municipal, state, and government repair agencies such as Cal Trans. The crack sealing process that they use on highways, freeways, roadways, and parking lots is the same that we use on your parking lot. This process has been tested and proven time and time again. Its performance is reliable and outstanding even in the most demanding of conditions.
Hot-pour sealants should be used on driveways with many cracks as well as high-traffic roadways and commercial parking lots. Hot applied sealants are the best choice for a quality long lasting repairs.
Parking lots, driveways, and roadways that are sealed using a hot applied rubberized crack sealant can be reopened to traffic as soon as the material is cool. Depending on outside temperatures, this can be as fast as 15 to 20 minutes after sealing the cracks.
The more time the crack seal material is given to dry the better odds lifting will not occur. We recommend 48 hours of dry time but we understand that this is not always realistic for a parking lot in Southern California.