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Over time, asphalt endures wear and tear due to environmental factors and high traffic. Parking lots and driveways serve as entrances to businesses and homes, so it’s best to keep these areas in tip-top shape. As a professional, knowing the proper techniques for crack filling is a priority since cracks lead to more significant damages down the road. Here are the four necessary steps to take when attempting a repair job on a damaged driveway or parking lot.
Proper asphalt sealant is not “one size fits all.” In fact, factors such as environment, traffic, and pavement condition significantly affect the efficacy of sealing agents. As such, you must weigh all aspects of a job when considering the sealant you wish to use. Cold weather regions demand flexible bonds that “gives” with ice and snowfall.
Flexible fillers work better with temperature swings and last far longer. But for warmer climates, you need a firm solution that adequately prevents damage caused by heavy objects on the soft pavement. Parking lots support lots of foot traffic, so consider a sealant that’s suitable for large quantities of pedestrians, such as a firm solution.
Crack filling is a relatively quick procedure, but it requires comprehensive planning. Similar to considering the best filler, it’s essential to understand various environmental and local factors before beginning a project. For instance, it’s best to fill cracks during spring and fall, especially in more seasonal areas. This is because cracks are in the middle of fully open and firmly closed at that time of the year. This time period gives you the best chance at filling blemishes and ensuring longevity with your repairs.
Once on the job site, thoroughly clean and dry cracks, as you’ll find these conditions lead to the most successful applications. You can also use a router to square irregular cracks; this both increases the efficiency and effectiveness of your repairs. However, don’t saw significantly damaged lots or driveways, as this can threaten the integrity of the entire pavement surface. Lastly, remove all debris, such as leaves, dirt, gravel, oil, and surface water.
Now it’s time to fill those cracks! You should apply sealants at temperatures between 380-400 degrees Fahrenheit. Under-heated materials are less effective at adhering and degrade far faster over time. Over-heated bonds come out too thin. As you seal, always fill from the bottom! This allows for a more even pour that adequately seals up blemishes.
You can get away with overbanding cracks for quick jobs, but filling up reservoirs is the most solid technique to practice. Don’t let your sealant reach more than 1/8 of an inch higher than the pavement surface. You can also fill 3/4th of a crack, allow the solution to cool, and complete the sealing after to prevent sagging. Once every damage is adequately repaired, throw on the seal coat and let the asphalt rest.
Understanding the proper techniques for crack filling ensures your clients are satisfied with your services every single time. You’ll see higher profits and an increase in company reputation. Consider NAC Supply’s quality collection of asphalt repair products and equipment for all your maintenance needs.
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