Asphalt is long-wearing and durable, which is why it is a popular paving material around the world. Yet, despite its strength and longevity, it can sustain damage from heavy weight, long-term use, moisture, and exposure to weather elements, resulting in cracks and more.
It is best to get the damage in your asphalt surface fixed immediately to stop it from getting worse, so your pavement can stay functional for a long time.
When it comes to asphalt cracks, there are two repair methods – crack filling and crack sealing. People often mistake them for being the same thing, but in reality, they are different from one another.
To identify how crack filling and crack sealing are different, you first need to have more information about both.
Crack sealing is generally used for cracks in the early stages of formation — cracks that show little side deterioration and a width less than¾ of an inch. Also, the cracks shouldn’t be too deep because the sealant being an adhesive material hardens quickly.
Crack sealing is typically done by applying the hot sealant on the cracks to prevent water intrusion.
Crack sealants offer great agility and flexibility, making it ideal for active cracks and frequent pavement movements (expansions and contractions).
Crack filling is a more durable and permanent solution for fixing cracks than sealing. It caters to cracks that are deeper and wider, resulting from being left unattended for an extended period of time.
In such a case, a simple sealant won’t do the trick. In crack filling, an asphalt emulsion is used to bind the edges of non-working cracks to reduce water infiltration and control the damage.
Crack Sealing or Filling: Which Is Better?
The debate between crack filling and crack sealing is impractical since both treat different extents of damage.
There are many different types of cracks, making it tricky to identify which material to use to repair them. The wrong mixture can result in the damage accelerating, leading to costly repairs. So call in the professionals to inspect the damage and suggest a solution accordingly.
On a side note, before either process of crack filling or crack sealing is carried out, make sure that the crack is thoroughly cleaned.
There shouldn’t be any signs of debris or moisture in the cracks before pouring in the right mixture. Anything in the base or sub-base layers of the asphalt will cause greater damage by affecting the foundation’s binding. Also, it will result in the mixture not holding the sides together for a long time.