First, let’s understand what causes the pavement to crack and what treatment options are available.
Asphalt pavements often are referred to as flexible pavements because they move horizontally due to changes in temperature, and vertically due to traffic loads. This causes the pavement to crack. Some cracks can open up to 100% of their original width as the pavement temperature changes from summer to winter extremes. Asphalt pavements also become brittle over time because of oxidation, UV rays, and other harmful elements. If the pavement is left untreated, those harmful elements degrade the top layer soon after the asphalt installation, causing surface cracks.
Now that you know what causes the pavement to crack, let’s look at the two treatment methods to repair cracks. You can either crack seal or crack fill.
Crack sealing uses specialized materials that move with the pavement as it expands and contracts, and that also bond to the walls of the crack, preventing the intrusion of water and incompressibles into the crack. Crack sealant is specifically engineered to use specialized materials that allow it to remain flexible at low temperatures so it doesn’t crack or split open, and it remains stable at higher temperatures so that it doesn’t track or bleed on the pavement.
Crack filling is seen as a short-term solution to help pavement last another season or two at maximum. It should only be done if the road is already in poor condition and is scheduled for further repair or reconstruction. Crack filling uses ordinary materials that do not bond well to the crack; it only fills the void and reduces intrusion of water and incompressibles into the crack and does not move with the pavement as it expands and contracts. Crack filler does not have high or low temperature properties. When pavement movement takes place as a result of temperature change or traffic loads, the crack filler is separated from the edge, allowing water and incompressible materials to enter into the crack and into the pavement. Crack filler does not achieve the same level of service life as crack sealant, and it does not preserve the pavement as long as crack sealant. Crack sealing is a long-term pavement preservation solution, while crack filling is a band-aid.
Crafco has the industry-leading crack sealing tools to help you get the most out of your efforts.
1. Crack sealing is the proven, lowest-cost-with-highest-benefit pavement preservation treatment!
For the majority of cracks that develop in pavement, the best treatment is crack sealing. Unlike crack filling, which usually only lasts one to two seasons, crack sealing can seal, protect, and preserve the pavement for up to seven years, and has proven to extend pavement service life from 2 to 5 years.
Why choose Crafco sealants? We have the longest documented asphalt sealant service life: 7+ years for asphalt pavement and 21+ years for Portland Cement Concrete.
2. Double sealant service life by routing
When performed prior to use of Crafco’s high-quality sealants, routing provides a solution proven to double sealant service life vs. non-routed and sealed cracks — making the most of your investment. Our rout/seal configuration has resulted in sealant service performance in asphalt pavement for 7+ years — the longest in the industry.
Why use the Crafco Router? Our router has been the industry standard for more than 30 years. There is no better way to effectively and efficiently create sealant crack reservoirs than with the Crafco Model 30 Pavement Router. Its lightweight mobile design, unique center of balance, and cutter-head alignment make it easy to operate and deliver unsurpassed crack-following accuracy. Routing cracks will prolong pavement life, will prolong sealant life, and prevent potholes.
3. Clean Routed Cracks for longer sealant performance
Independent studies prove that clean, dry pavement cracks extend sealant’s performance (achieving 7+ years in SHRP H-106). This longer lifespan not only limits sealant costs but eliminates labor, materials, road closures, traﬃc control/congestion, and driving hazards associated with rework.
Why choose the Crafco Crack-Vac? Our Crack-Vac is the most powerful and effective in the industry. It disrupts and removes dirt and debris quickly with compressed air, ensuring proper preparation. Plus, it keeps workers safe from excessive dust and particulates.