Flexible pavement, or asphalt, is highly valued for the comfort it provides, cost efficiency, as well as the reduction of noise pollution. Because of its smoothness and resistance, asphalt has among other advantages, that of being up to 100% recyclable.
The floors of this type require maintenance either corrective or preventive. Preventive maintenance should be done at least twice a year and as part of this is sealing cracks. Cracks arise from various causes such as high traffic or the weight the floor must support, but they must be attended to as soon as possible to prevent further damage which will mean a greater investment in time and money.
Types of cracks in asphalt
- Fatigue: these interconnected cracks arise from high traffic, in the middle of a road right where the tires pass. These cracks originate at the base of the asphalt, possibly because it has become too stiff or because continuous traffic has thinned the asphalt layer. When the interconnected cracks are not addressed then the situation becomes more acute and the cracks extend into the areas where they do not bear load.
- Cracks at the edges: they are made because the street has no shoulder or very little. Even when there is a difference in level, this type of crack in the asphalt usually appears about 50 centimeters from the edge.
- Transverse cracks: these arise when a part is subjected to too much stress and almost always appear in the areas where the load passes. They can also appear due to extreme cold or hot temperature changes.
- Patches: Localized patches are usually given because a poor repair, or because the repair was not well compacted.
How to repair cracks in asphalt?
It is important first to decide whether the repair will be done with a hot or cold mix. It is important to take into account that repairs of asphalt cracks with hot mixes have the advantage of being set up quickly, enabling faster use of the soil. Cold mixes on the other hand, are usually used for soils with less traffic, and have a higher aesthetic value.
Weather also has a major influence on the choice of material to repair cracks in the asphalt. Cold mixes work to repair cracks in asphalt, but they perform much more efficiently when ambient temperatures are warm and dry. Hot mixes, on the other hand, do not have this impediment, and their performance is just as efficient, even when applied at extremely low ambient temperatures.
The repair of hot cracks involves pouring the liquid directly into the affected area, so the service of a specialist who has the necessary machinery to solve it once and for all must be hired.
Generally, these processes require first cleaning the area to be intervened from dust and other agents, for which a jet of hot air is applied which will also cause the pavement to expand, preparing the conditions for it to bond perfectly to the liquid to be applied later.
After cleaning, the product is applied to seal the crack. The width of the application must be adjusted to the size of the crack that is being intervened, as well as its thickness, and the machines that best fit will be used for this purpose.
Solutions for wide and narrow cracks
Cracks in the asphalt can be large or small and the specialist will support the use of products to restore them depending on the case. There are also cracks that are too wide, or fine cracks in a large area. In any case, the specialist will provide you with options for successful and efficient repairs over time.