What is Crack filler? Crack filler is nothing more than pulverized rubber tires that is melted down at a very high temperature and then dispensed into the crack to cool down, and adhere to the asphalt.
Crack Filling is crucial in maintaining the asphalt for the long term. Cracks occur in the asphalt for several different reasons. The most common are asphalt shrinkage, and failed sub-structure (the gravel-base under the asphalt use to stabilize the earth).
Aging is a natural process with any substance and asphalt is no different. Cracks should be addressed every year even if the cracks don’t need filled. We recommend that the damaged areas be addressed when any portion of the crack reaches 1/4 inch wide, so the crack filler can effectively penetrate the asphalt. Crack filler is like bubble gum, bonding the two separate pieces of asphalt together. When asphalt contracts from the cold, it will stretch to keep the crack sealed. When asphalt expands from the heat, it is pliable enough to bulge above the asphalt to maintain the seal. It is not an exact science, but crack filler can last from 1-2 to 10+ years. It all has to do with the environment, traffic and maintenance of the asphalt.
Failed surfaces do not automatically assume that it must be replaced. It could be a one-time fail that once the crack(s) are filled it could last several years before it needs to be addressed. If it fails the following year, do not throw good money away on bad asphalt; have it looked at by a professional so the best solution can be determined.
One last thing, ever notice those alligator areas where the asphalt looks like a jigsaw puzzle? Crack filler is a great substance, but it is not that great. The aligatored areas must be removed and replaced with new asphalt to maximize the life of the entire parking lot. If aligatored areas are left unchecked they will grow just like the fungus in your lawn. So, put your money into maintenance. Total replacement is not cost effective.
Check Out the Photo Gallery for some of Reno’s Best Asphalt Crack Filling Work!