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Cold Pour Asphalt Filler Mistakes To Avoid

by April Carlson

If you have many cracks in the surface of your asphalt driveway, then this may be a sign that you need a new driveway installed. If you do not currently have the money for a full replacement, then you can schedule an asphalt sealing. Before the sealing, you should do your best to fill in cracks as best you can. If you have never worked with crack filler before, then you may make a few mistakes. Keep reading to learn how to avoid some common mistakes that may be made when cold pour crack filler is used. 

Mistake - Filling In Deep and Wide Cracks

Cold pour crack filling materials are best used to fill in cracks that are considered shallow and narrow. Cracks that are between about one-half and three-quarters of an inch can be filled and sealed. Filling can also occur if the crack is less than two inches deep. If a crack that is too wide is filled with a filler compound, the repair area will not be able to retain a great deal of weight, and the area may collapse or fail under pressure. In this case, the damaged area may need a hot-poured filler instead of a cold variety. This filler will cure harder and keep the damaged area strong.

If cracks are deep, then the cold pour material may shrink too much and cause the filler to sink into the crack. This means that the repair is likely to fail soon after the repair is made. To help reduce the shrinking problem, you will need to place a material in the crack so it is more shallow. You can secure some sand in the crack until it is less than two inches deep. You can also place a foam backer rod in the crack to take up some of the space. These rods come in open and closed cell varieties. For outdoor use, make sure to purchase a closed-cell rod to fill in the crack. These rods will help to ensure a waterproof repair. The rods can be cut to size, so make sure to cut the rod so it sits flat against the bottom of the crack. You can place the cold pour filler material directly over the rod.

Mistake - Using The Filler During The Wrong Season

In general, it is best to fill in asphalt cracks during the spring or fall. Asphalt cracks will open and close depending on the weather. During the winter, the cold temperatures cause the asphalt to freeze and constrict. This opens up the cracks and makes them wider. This will happen as well when the ground underneath the asphalt freezes and causes the driveway to shift. In the summer, the asphalt becomes warm and expands, and this closes the asphalt cracks.

If cracks are filled in the winter, then the warm summer temperatures will place stress on the repair and the filler may crack as it is compressed. If you choose to close the crack in the summer, then the repair area will open up in the winter leaving you with an unfilled crack. To help minimize these issues, you should fill cracks when they are between their most open and closed stages. This means working in either the spring or fall.

If you do fill cracks when temperatures are moderate, you will need to make sure that the temperatures do not become too cold at night. This can interrupt the curing process. Cold pour asphalt filler will cure as the water evaporates from the material. If temperatures are cold enough to freeze the water in the filler, then it will not cure in a timely manner. The filler may not bond with the surrounding asphalt when this happens. Choosing a time during the early fall or late spring is best to avoid freezing issues. 

For assistance with sealing or repairing your asphalt driveway, contact a company like ASAP Asphalt Sealing & Paving Co.