What’s the Difference Between Crack Sealing and Crack Filling?

 Crack Sealing and Crack FillingWhether you own a commercial parking lot, a residential driveway, industrial yard, or all three, one of the most important aspects of proper asphalt maintenance is repairing all cracks as soon as they appear. The longer you neglect to repair cracks or damages to your asphalt pavement, the worse they’ll get over time. If left untreated, they can even reach the point of no return. The problem is that it can often be challenging to determine whether you need crack filling or sealing considering most people don’t know the difference between the two techniques. For that reason, you should consider hiring prominent asphalt crack repair contractors in Toronto and the GTA. Continue reading to learn more about the differences between crack filling and sealing so that you can make an informed decision.

What Is Asphalt Crack Sealing?

Crack sealing offers a somewhat simple solution to a potentially complex problem. It’s a technique that professional asphalt contractors use for cracks that are still in the beginning stages of formation. Crack sealing your asphalt pavement is a good preventative measure to keep the cracks from deepening or spreading out. This method is typically used for cracks that are less than ¾ of an inch wide and show very little deterioration on all sides of the crack. Also, the crack should be fairly shallow as the sealant acts as an adhesive and can’t travel very far down as it’ll begin to harden.

What Is Asphalt Crack Filling?

Asphalt crack filling, on the other hand, is a much more permanent and durable solution used to fix cracks that are much deeper and wider in length. This method remedies crack formations that have been neglected for longer periods of time to the extent that a simple sealant won’t be enough to bind the edges back together. In this circumstance, the cracks have most likely expanded much further apart on all sides and deeper into the substrate, therefore requiring a much more potent and durable mixture to reunite them.

Crack Sealing or Filling: Which One Is the Best Method for Crack Repair?

The first necessary step in both crack sealing and crack filling is to thoroughly clear your entire asphalt parking lot or driveway of any debris that can potentially get caught in the sealant or filler. You should also carefully inspect the crack in question to make sure there’s no standing water or debris stuck inside of it before you attempt to repair it.

If you’re uncertain in terms of whether crack sealing vs. crack filling is the best repair method for your specific project, then you should consult with an expert asphalt crack repair company in Toronto. Accidentally using the wrong method could prove to be more dangerous and result in costly repairs in the future, especially if the problem isn’t adequately or properly taken care of from the very beginning. A good way to determine whether you need to seal or fill a crack is by examining the extent of the damage and even measuring the width and depth of the crack. If the crack is more than ¾ inches in width, then filler is most likely your best bet. However, it can be hard to judge the extent of the potential damage if you don’t know what to look for.

The fact is that there are approximately seven different types of cracks that can occur in your asphalt and they each require specific repair techniques in order to be properly mended. A professional contractor will be able to easily identify the type of crack you’re dealing with and subsequently determine the best repair method.

Types of Asphalt Cracks

To help you better understand the types of crack formations that are occurring on your asphalt pavement and how to best remedy them, consult the list below:

1. Transverse Cracks:

These are the most common types of cracks that occur on asphalt pavements and they’re usually a precursor for all of the others. They usually begin at one end of the pavement and extend to the other side or stop abruptly in the centerline and are caused by poor or uneven weight distribution throughout the asphalt pavement.

2. Longitudinal Cracks:

As the name suggests, longitudinal cracks extend all the way from one side of the pavement to the other and are usually caused by shrinkage of the surface of the pavement due to frequent freeze-thaw cycles; hardened asphalt; or low-quality pavement construction.

3. Seam Cracks:

Seam cracks typically occur along the lines where one patch of pavement is combined with another. This is usually the result of hot asphalt that’s inadequately mixed and applied.

4. Edge Cracks:

Edge cracks occur at the point where the asphalt pavement connects to concrete curbs and are usually caused by inadequate hot or cold asphalt mixtures and applications.

5. Reflective Cracks:

Reflective cracks have no distinctive or specific pattern formations. They’re usually caused by the inability of the surface material to adapt to various amounts of weight or movement.

6. Block Cracks:

Block cracks are shaped like squares and can extend anywhere from four to 12 feet depending on the degree of the damage done and how long they’re left unattended. These types of cracks can usually be found on very old pavements that haven’t been properly maintained over time.

7. Alligator Cracks:

Alligator cracks resemble the dry, cracked, and scaly skin of an alligator; hence their fitting name. On the surface, they appear minor and harmless, but they’re actually a good indicator of more serious internal deterioration that must be addressed and repaired immediately.

Asphalt Crack Repair in Toronto

For all of your commercial and residential asphalt paving needs, contact the expert asphalt pavement construction, maintenance, and repair experts at Sure-Seal Pavement Maintenance Inc. today. We’ve been working in the City of Toronto and GTA for more than 20 years and offer a comprehensive minimum seven-year product and labour guarantee!

Photo Credit: iStock.com/DavidHewison