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FREE TRAINING FEATURE

Want to learn more about pavement management, in-place recycling, and pavement preservation? Do you feel like you're setup for failure as an agency engineer with little or no money to spend on your roads? Enter your email below to get free instant access to a two-hour video-training session that Blair did for the Northwest Pavement Management Association:

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Blair Barnhardt

Crack Treatments

Crack treatments consist of placing specialized materials into prepared cracks to prevent water and incompressible intrusion into the cracks and underlying pavement layers, and to reinforce the adjacent pavement.  Restriction of water entry into underlying pavement base and sub-grade layers serves to maintain pavement strength and prolong pavement life.  Pavements in different climate zones, with different construction types, and with different traffic loadings experience different types of cracking.  The various crack types experience different movement ranges depending mostly on crack spacing and temperature variations.  Different types of crack treatment materials and installation geometries are required for the different conditions.

Crack Filling – Filling treatments are used for pavements that primarily have non working cracks (less than 1/8 inch annual movement).  Filling treatments generally consist of cleaning the cracks and placement of appropriate material in a fill and slight overband application.  Filling treatments are generally used for cracks spaced at less than 20 feet for block, random closely spaced thermal, and longitudinal cracking.

Crack Sealing – Crack sealing treatments are used for pavements that primarily have working cracks (greater than 1/8 inch annual movement).  Sealing treatments consist of creating a widened reservoir to provide proper geometry and placement of flexible, extensible material that can accommodate the expected movements.  Sealing treatments are generally used for thermal cracking spaced at over 20 feet.  For all sealing or filling installations, the treatment material needs to have appropriate properties for the specific temperature ranges at the project site.

Whether it be a private sector property or a state route, the owner should ensure that the crack fill is being heated to 430-440 degrees Fahrenheit.   As there are over 80 different state specifications, we recommend that the local agencies check with their area supplier or state DOT for a current state specification.

Properly designed and installed crack treatments have been proven to extend pavement life and last for 5 to 7 years.  One other word of caution: If the owner agency is planning on installing a thin HMA overlay (i.e. <1″) the usage of crack treatments and sealing should be reconsidered, as bumping of the HMA may occur as it is compacted against the crack filling material.

Crack Sealing on a state route

Crack Sealing on a state route

Finished Crack Sealing

Finished Crack Sealing