“How long would you leave a crack in your house roof?”
How long would you leave a crack in your house roof before all of your house contents become ruined by moisture? This same principle applies to cracks in a pavement. The more water that penetrates a pavement’s base, the more damage will be done to the pavement in time.
Crack sealing is a routine maintenance activity that basically involves cleaning out the crack which are wide enough to clean, and then filling the clean crack with a sealant in order to prevent water and non-compressibles from entering the pavement structure. The most common types of cracks, which are sealed, include longitudinal cracks, transverse cracks, reflective cracks, edge cracks, and block cracks. Fatigue (alligator) cracks are seldom routed and sealed individually because the intensity of the crack patterns usually warrants an area treatment rather than individual crack treatment. The treatments may involve removal and replacement, overlay, or seal coat for low fatigue cracking.
Generally, cracks, which have opened up more than 1/4 to 1/2 inch, are candidates for sealing. Typically sealing procedures involve the following steps:
- Place proper traffic control devices in work zone.
- Route the cracks to remove debris and any deteriorated crack sealing material.
- Clean the cracks with compressed air or a stiff bristle broom.
- Pour hot crack filling material into the crack to within 1/4 inch below the surface.
- After allowing the sealant to cool, broom off excess materials from surface, remove traffic control devices, and open to traffic.