Crack Sealing: Combating the Effects of Freeze-Thaw Damage

Crack SealingWith the impending snow storm coming through Maryland, it is necessary to prepare to repair freeze-thaw damage to your concrete pavement. Freeze-thaw damage is done when water seeps into small cracks in the pavement, freezes, and expands the crack. The resulting larger spaces in the concrete will then thaw when the temperature goes up, displaying a bigger problem than you had before. Sealing these gaps is a common maintenance activity done by PTG Enterprises.

Crack sealing the asphalt prevents water and other materials from seeping into the cracks. Filling the concrete should be done before it snows or before a rainy season. The idea behind this is that there will be less repair work to complete. If no preventative maintenance is done, larger gaps in the concrete will need to be filled, which is more costly. Filling cracks will happen a few times over the winter since water will sneak through each time there is a snow day.

The Federal Highway Administration did an extensive study on what type of materials should be used to effectively seal cracks in the pavement and to what magnitude these materials should be used. The findings for normal cracks (2.5-5 millimeters) are as follows.

  1. Short-term crack sealing: Rubberized asphalt should be positioned in “Band-Aid” arrangement if the pavement has ordinary cracks, to perform for a term between one and three years. The study also found that this will work with average traffic levels.
  2. Medium-term crack sealing: This time span will be between three and five years, with moderate traffic and two varying types of asphalt. Rubberized asphalt may be placed in the cracks in a recessed “Band-Aid” configuration or a modified rubberized asphalt can be inserted in a simple “Band-Aid” alignment.
  3. Long-term crack sealing: A modified rubberized asphalt sealant is to be used in a simple or shallow recessed “Band-Aid” configuration. This would be for a time span of five to eight years in moderate traffic.

The study revealed that quality control is essential, and crack sealing should be done precisely and carefully. Water that penetrates these normal cracks will soften the stone and shorten the lifespan of the asphalt pavement. More damage can be done if not taken care of such as pot holes; common in Baltimore City. This winter, freeze-thaw destruction will create these large openings and should be fixed as soon as possible.

PTG Enterprises: Baltimore Crack Filling

Asphalt may seem tough and durable, but add up the effects of traffic and the elements, and you’ll see how quickly commercial asphalt can wear down. PTG Enterprises has paved thousands of miles of asphalt lots, and our crews work quickly and professionally.

If you have any further questions about Crack Filling, please contact PTG Enterprises aka My Pavement Guy today by calling 410-636-8777, or click here today! You can check us out on Facebook and Twitter as well!

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