Deterioration of pavement is natural. It’s natural because over time the materials that make up the asphalt begin to break down and become more affected by elements such as rain, sunlight, and chemicals that come into contact with the pavement surface. The liquid asphalt binder that is the “glue” of the pavement begins to lose its natural resistance to water, allowing it to penetrate into and underneath the pavement. Once this happens, the entire surface of your pavement can quickly deteriorate.
All pavement failure starts with a crack. There are various elements that contribute to worn out asphalt and must be stopped before it’s too late. Just as you paint a new house to protect it from these elements, asphalt must also be protected to maximize its lifespan. Proper attention to cracks will help prevent further asphalt deterioration and extend the wear and use of the pavement.
The best way to handle cracked pavement is to perform a seal coat as soon as minor cracking is detected. If that is not possible, or the cracks have grown too wide, crack sealing is a good alternative. The use of crack sealant is a good choice for a small crack or where seal coats or overlays will be performed in the near future. The key to preserving asphalt pavement is to catch the deterioration early and perform pavement preservation techniques to eliminate or slow the damage.