Why Cracks Should Be Filled In Your Asphalt In The Spring

Why Cracks Should Be Filled In Your Asphalt In The Spring

Crack filling is a more durable asphalt repair method that is used to treat cracks that are too big for crack sealing. In other words, cracks that are deep, wider than ¾ of an inch, are left untreated for a long time and are non-working cracks (have horizontal and/or vertical movements in them less than 0.1 inches).

When planning a crack filling project or even creating your annual pavement maintenance budget/calendar, you need to be extra careful about the season you are scheduling the project for. It may sound like an odd thing to say to first-time pavement owners, but this is actually a consideration that can significantly impact the results of your crack filling project. And when we say season, we literally mean seasons like spring, summer, autumn, and winter, not that off/busy season kind of thing.

Spring is the ideal time to carry out a crack filling project, followed by autumn. There are three reasons why spring is the #1 choice for crack filling:

Emergence of Cracks

Winter is the time when your pavement sustains the most damage. Moisture infiltration coupled with the freeze and thaw cycle and our own harmful snow removal practices (frequent salting, use of harsh deicing chemicals and metal-head shovels, and infrequent snow removal) cause extensive damage to asphalt surfaces. Thus, come spring, you will find that your pavement is covered with all sorts of pavement distresses, including cracks and potholes. Therefore, the best time to carry out crack filling is in spring because you need to repair the cracks immediately, or the damage will worsen to the point where you will be left with no other option but to resurface.

Curing Time for Filler

In crack filling, an asphalt emulsion is used to fill the crack and bind its edges together, after which this emulsion is left to cure/dry. In spring, as we all know, the weather is mild, making it ideal for the asphalt emulsion to cure, as opposed to winter (takes to too long) and summer (dries too quickly). Curing time can affect the durability of your repair, so check the forecast. Also, in order for the edges to properly bind together, there should be no moisture in the crack, which rules out winter because of the snowfall and ice.

Size of the Cracks

An asphalt surface expands and contracts with changes in temperature, which is also one of the reasons for the formation of the cracks, but apart from that, it also affects the size of the cracks. The size of the cracks directly affects the amount of filler used to repair the cracks. If you crack fill in winter when the cracks are bigger/wider, you will be pouring in more of the asphalt emulsion. When summer arrives, your pavement will expand, causing some of the material inside the crack to come out or pressure causing the crack to reappear. On the other hand, if you fill a crack in the summer, there will only be space for a bit of filler. Come winter, when the pavement contracts, the crack will open up as the asphalt emulsion inside would be insufficient as per the cracks size. Thus, spring is the ideal time to fill cracks as the pavement will not be putting too much or too little asphalt emulsion into the cracks, allowing them to be secured/filled year-round.

Straight Edge Contractors LLC is an expert asphalt contractor offering a wide range of solutions to meet the needs of your pavement in Midland, TX. Get a free estimate now!