So, having prepared your pavement you are now ready to seal the cracks in it.
Here’s how to get it right first time…
The temperature of the sealant is important. Although you should check carefully with the exact manufacturer’s specifications for their product, generally the sealant should be applied at between 380 and 410 degrees Fahrenheit.
Get this wrong and you will severely affect how well the sealant sticks.
If the sealant is not heated enough, then you should stop and wait until it is hot enough. It will simply not stick otherwise.
By contrast, if you overheat, it degrades. Tell-tale signs of an overheated sealant are a stringy or thick appearance.
If this happens, there is nothing much you can do except dump the mix and start again.
For this reason, it is important to keep an eye on its temperature carefully.
One way to do this, is to keep the melter three quarters full. This helps maintain the temperature you want.
GRADUALLY DOES IT
Additionally, adding the sealant blocks in bit by bit, rather than altogether helps with the temperature control.
Even if the melter you have automatically regulates temperature, it should still be checked.
There still could be some inconsistency in temperature inside the melter kettle itself.
If the hose is not heated, then the sealant inside could be too cold. To get around this, the material can be circulated through the hose and into the melter. Then it will reach the right temperature.
As you fill in the crack, go from the bottom to the top, to ensure a successful seal.
A crack shouldn’t be filled more than an eighth of an inch higher than the surface of the pavement.
Where sagging is a problem, fill the crack to three quarters full and then let it cool down before recommencing the filling.
Alternatively, fill all the cracks to the correct height to begin with and then come back to any that sag below that height afterwards for a top up.
Now you need to decide how to finish the job.
We would suggest that a routed reservoir with over banding can provide the best protection from further crack damage. But there may be times that the job requires another technique such as a flush match or some combination of finishes.
CURING AND BLOTTING
You need to keep vehicles away from the road until the sealant has fully cured.
If there is a need to re-open the route quickly, then it should be blotted with something like limestone dust. Then the road can be used straight away.