Cold Pour Crack Filling Can Save Your Parking LotMichael Coderre
An important part of the pavement maintenance process be aware of the slightest crack, remediating it as soon as possible. The tiniest fracture can represent an already developing material failure within the aggregates of your asphalt. An example that we are all too familiar to in Alberta is our windshields. We get tons of small chips on the glass during any every season, but the constant strains from a difference of pressure, temperature, and mechanical stresses overtime can enlarge the damage to create large cracks, thereby increasing the risk of shattering, and lowering the value of the car. We don’t want potholes or crevices, nor do we want injuries and blown tires on our lot. Fix the cracks, save money.
Types of Cracks & How to Repair Them
Just like in building construction, types of cracks in your parking lot can differentiate what options are best suited to repair them. Luckily, there is a guide that most professional engineers and contractors usually refer to in the industry to quickly evaluate pavement condition, and types of parking lot cracks they are dealing with. The PASER Asphalt Roads Manual details the proper method to evaluate pavement surfaces, and quantifies them into ratings, helping us better understand the condition of the specified area. In this application, we are going to use it to help identify types of cracks in your parking lot.
Transverse cracks are those that start and finish perpendicular to the road lines. Contrary to their name, the cause of these cracks stem from prolonged axial loads from above stresses, in cooperation with creep deformation leading to shrinkage over a period. If left untreated, cracks in your parking lot will increase in length from one side of the shoulder to the other, or with water intrusion, create erosion for crack combinations along the initial. Quantity of cracks will also increase, usually spaced by approximately 15 meters or more. During the primary phase of cracking, simple maintenance from hot pour or cold pour crack filler can help reduce the chances of future intrusion, and most importantly protect from further water damage. In terms of large left alone cracks, we suggest that you completely re-construct the affected area, then pave and seal correctly afterwards.
Slippage cracks are those that form due to the friction forces created from vehicle tires dragging the worn asphalt in various directions, thus these cracks aren’t usually straight as they form lunula based cracks. In this case, using crack filler could work, but the chances of holding rigidity along the affected area is lower than most. It is recommended that you remove as much within the rounded edge as possible, and use pothole filler as a substitute.
Block cracks look like how they are names. Quadrilateral shaped combinations of cracks are caused not from loading, but mainly from prolonged shrinkage due to creep strain, hardening overtime, as well as water seepage. Block cracks exponentially hurt the physical appearance of your parking lot asphalt due to the mass amounts of organized cracks in a wide sprawled area. The importance of early notice is crucial in maintaining the asphalt in your parking lot. Thus, to prevent the possibility of block cracks, regular scheduled seal-coating is of utmost importance as protection from the elements is key to preventing these.
In the industry we call this gatoring. It consists of connected web-like cracking usually with some added depression, resembling alligator osteoderm. The main cause of this extreme form of cracking in your parking lot asphalt is overtime material strain from heavy surface loads, added with an insufficient base support system, and deficient plumbing. If left untreated, aggregates along the area will soften and eventually be removed by constant use, leading to deadly potholes within the lot. A scheduled patch and observation period of 1-2 years per application of gator patch or similar products may remedy this. It is also recommended that you remove the affected area, and re-construct the asphalt, then sealing it cleanly to prevent future cracking.