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I’ve noticed cracks in my asphalt. Can I fill it with sealer or do I need crack repair?

Crack Sealing and Repair You are right to be concerned about cracks in your asphalt pavement. Cracks allow water to seep beneath the pavement and erode the foundation. When the foundation becomes unstable, the pavement can no longer bear the weight of traffic. Before you know it, you can have potholes and alligatored asphalt, both of which can lead to even more extensive damage.

However, you should never try to fill cracks with sealer. Sealcoating is not an adequate substitute for crack fill; although it can sometimes smooth out minor surface imperfections, it will not perform as a crack-repair material.

The best material for filling cracks is hot-pour rubberized asphalt. Think of it this way: If you needed to repair a rust hole on the body of your car, would you simply fill it with wax? Wax, like sealcoating, is an effective way to enhance the appearance of your car and protect from the elements, but it is not a “building block” in the construction of the car. You need to repair the rust hole with a material that has the same properties as the surrounding area and that will adhere properly. Essentially, this is what you get when you have cracks filled with the proper material.

If you try to fill a crack in asphalt pavement with sealer, you can count the life of the repair in days or even hours. Sealcoating is supposed to have a hard finish when it is dry; this lets it protect the pavement from scuffing, chemicals and salt, but it is somewhat brittle. When the surrounding asphalt contracts or expands, the movement can crack the patch if sealer is used, but crack filling will move with the rest of the pavement and remain resilient.

It is also important to take care of cracks before severe winter weather arrives. Leaving cracks unrepaired in areas that have a number of days when temperatures are below freezing and that typically endure a great deal of ice or snow is an extremely bad idea. By spring, the cracks will likely have expanded dramatically, giving runoff even better access to the pavement’s supporting foundation.

Fahrner Asphalt Sealers is a full-service asphalt maintenance and repair company serving customers throughout the states of Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota and Upper and Lower Michigan. We have more than 35 years of industry experience, allowing us to offer quality results at competitive rates. Whether you need sealcoating, crack repairs, pavement markings, asphalt paving, infrared patching or any other asphalt-related maintenance service, we have the expertise you need. Use our online form to request a free quote, or give us a call at our toll-free number, 1-800-332-3360.

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