Every asphalt surface has an expiration date (see our blog, “The Lifecycle of New Asphalt Parking Lot Paving”). As such, much of asphalt paving and maintenance is aimed at slowing down this process of deterioration. What starts as a small crack can pave the way for bigger problems with your pavement down the line, so it’s crucial to keep these breaches as narrow and shallow as possible – sealing them off completely is even better. Let’s go over how to keep small cracks in your pavement from getting any bigger, so your New England asphalt enjoys a long life.
Keep Your Asphalt Clean
Dirt and debris will invariably land on your asphalt. Keeping your asphalt parking lot or driveway clean will help you maintain your property’s curb appeal, but that’s not all. If your pavement is riddled with cracks, small materials can easily make their way inside and start damaging the asphalt from the inside out. After a while, this ongoing damage widens and deepens existing cracks, creating a larger web of openings that allow even more dirt and debris to enter. Regularly sweeping away litter from your pavement and giving it a good wash now and then will help keep your asphalt’s cracks clear. Maintaining clean pavement will also reveal problems that might have been previously concealed so you can keep up with further maintenance.
Fill Minor Cracks Early On
Cleaning your asphalt on a regular basis is a good habit to get into, but it’s not enough to stop every crack from gradually growing. Additionally, most business owners and facility managers don’t have enough bandwidth to constantly clean their asphalt surfaces. Put simply; it’s better to get rid of openings in your asphalt when they pop up. And the sooner you tackle asphalt crack repair, the better. After all, it takes far less time, effort, and material to fill a slim, shallow crack than it does to repair a major one. Filling minor cracks at their earliest stages is also less expensive than waiting to invest in a larger repair job. So, if you see a crack in your pavement, don’t wait to act.
Sealcoat Your Pavement
Prevention is the name of the game if you wish to keep small cracks in your pavement small and stop new ones from cropping up. Pavement fracturing results from several factors, such as moisture intrusion, the freeze/thaw cycle, excessive pressure, drainage issues, shifts in the ground, and more. Some of these environmental conditions are out of your control, but investing in blacktop sealcoating gives your pavement a fighting chance against multiple threats for years at a time. Sealcoating is the process of covering your asphalt with an additional protective layer that shields it from sunlight, moisture, temperature fluctuations, heavy traffic, and more. This process should only be performed at least 90 days after paving asphalt and after all existing cracks have been filled.
Applying fresh sealant every 3-5 years will greatly reduce the number of cracks that appear on your asphalt.
Keep from Cracking Up
Cracking is a normal occurrence for asphalt. Just know that these issues will only get worse if you neglect them. Do your asphalt and your future self a favor by properly maintaining your pavement with regular cleaning, crack filling, and periodic sealcoating. If you need help sticking to a maintenance schedule or tackling repairs, partner up with local asphalt paving services who do it all, like Cassidy Paving.
If you need help keeping up with commercial asphalt maintenance, call us today at 866-978-9788.