Cracks in parking lots are not unusual. Unfortunately, neither is the eventual deterioration of the surface if those cracks are left unattended. Unsealed cracks allow water to enter and deteriorate the subgrade and eventually the surface, usually resulting in alligator cracks, potholes and the general demise of the pavement.
Crack sealer is an elastic material designed to seal joints and cracks against this moisture infiltration into the subgrade. Subgrade moisture is one of the leading causes of pavement failure, so it is essential that asphalt cracking is attended to promptly in order to extend the life of the pavement and save money long-term. Typically, we recommend filling cracks and joints 1/4 inch or wide or greater.
The crack sealer we use at PCS is a hot-applied, polymer-based material. Using a hot sealer is far superior to a cold-pour sealer. Cold-pour sealers, although marginally less expensive, do not adhere as well and tend to pop out of the crack with temperature changes.
The crack is first cleaned using an air compressor with a hose and tube to blow out dust and debris with a high-pressure stream of air. Then, the crack sealer is either injected into the crack with a pressurized wand or poured in at a temperature of roughly 300 degrees Fahrenheit. This extreme heat causes the sides of the asphalt in the crack to melt and form a much stronger bond with the crack sealer upon cooling. Due to its high elasticity, crack sealer will have the ability to expand and contract with the thermal movements of the crack. Also, because of its high melting point, it will not track or pick up with traffic.