Basic Asphalt Maintenance: Sealer, Crack Filler, and Patching
Asphalt paving is a durable and cost-effective solution for driveways, parking lots, and roads. However, like any surface, it requires regular maintenance to ensure longevity and performance. In this article, we'll discuss three essential aspects of asphalt maintenance: sealer, hot rubberized crack filler, and patching. By understanding these maintenance methods, you can keep your asphalt surfaces looking great and extend their lifespan.
Sealer and Crack Filler:
At O'Brien Paving Inc., we engineer our asphalt driveways and parking lots to last 3-6 times longer than those of most companies in the area. Under ideal conditions, our asphalt surfaces do not require seal coating. However, we recognize that in the real world, ideal conditions are rarely met. That's why we offer sealing and crack filling services.
Sealing a driveway or parking lot with a high-quality asphalt-based sealer can help increase its life expectancy in two ways:
- It soaks into the asphalt, replacing some of the bitumen that has been eroded by oil or gas spills on the surface.
- Sealer fills in minute crevasses in the asphalt, preventing water from penetrating, freezing, and expanding, which can cause cracks to form.
Sealer is effective at filling only the smallest cracks and preventing them from growing. For larger cracks, a crack filler is the best option. For driveways, liquid crack filler can be used to help extend the life of the asphalt. Ensure that cracks are relatively clean so the crack filler can penetrate the crack and apply the filler liberally to accommodate the driveway's expansion and contraction. Store-bought crack filler should be applied annually, preferably in the fall before winter arrives and freezing begins.
For larger parking lots, hot rubberized crack filler is the best choice. This filler is melted and poured into cracks using a machine, and can last for years, significantly extending the life of an aging parking lot. While hot rubberized crack filler can be used on driveways, it is more expensive due to the fuel costs and time it takes to heat the filler initially.
Patching is an essential part of asphalt maintenance and can effectively fix smaller problem areas without the cost of full replacement.
Saw-Cut Removal and Repave Patches: These patches are the only type that can last for years. The process involves saw-cutting the damaged area, removing the old asphalt, and repaving with new asphalt. This method provides real value for your money and is the preferred choice for long-lasting results.
Surface Patches: Surface patches, generally last for only 1-2 years before cracking reappears or a plow has removed the patch. While surface patching may be appropriate in some cases, it is not as long-lasting as saw-cut, removal, and repaved patches.
Asphalt maintenance is crucial for extending the life of your driveway or parking lot and maintaining its appearance. By understanding the importance of sealer, crack filler, and patching, you can effectively care for your asphalt surfaces and ensure they remain functional and visually appealing for years to come. If you have any questions regarding the maintenance of your driveway or parking lot, don't hesitate to reach out to us at O'Brien Paving Inc. for assistance.