Asphalt 101

What causes cracks in asphalt?
Asphalt Cracks/failure are caused by oxidation, shrinking, drying out, water penetration, poor installation and the freeze/thaw cycle in cold climates.  Proper crack sealing creates a seal between the asphalt and the asphalt sub-surface to inhibit water from penetrating and causing extensive asphalt repairs.
What is crack seal and why use it?
Crack seal is a rubberized hot pour material that is heated in a hot pot and installed while it is in a boiling hot liquid rubber form.  Within approximately 15 minutes of being installed, the material cools and hardens, creating a flexible water-proof barrier.  If cracks are left unattended, water is able to penetrate to the base of the asphalt and road base, as freezing and thawing occurs it will cause potholes and further cracking due to the erosion. Protecting your asphalt investment and keeping it well maintained requires that asphalt pavement surfaces should have crack seal touched up yearly covering the formation of new cracks and to check previous crack seal from damage from snow plows and regular wear.
What is seal coat and why use it?
Seal coat is a coal tar emulsion sealer which acts as a barrier between external harmful elements and the asphalt pavement.  Seal coat is highly resistant to UV radiation, water, gas, oil and other chemicals.  It is the best long life solution to protect the overall asphalt surface from elemental degradation. Protecting your asphalt investment and keeping it well maintained requires that asphalt pavement surfaces should have seal coat re-applied every 4-7 years, depending on traffic and regular wear.  Aesthetically, many retail clients choose to re-apply seal coat 1-3 years to maintain a new asphalt look for their property.