How to seal asphalt?

How to seal asphalt?

The Pavement Management Systems (PMS) have been designed to manage maintenance and rehabilitation activities in order to optimize the condition of the pavement with the available funds. The use of PMSs is becoming increasingly important due to the benefits to be gained.

Within PMSs, crack sealing is generally considered a maintenance activity. Research activities by various organizations have determined that effective sealing of cracks in asphalt concrete pavements can extend the life of the pavement in a cost-effective way, slowing the rate at which deterioration occurs. 

Steps in Pavement Management

The PMS process consists of several steps that are briefly described as follows:


This function consists of identifying, describing and recording the pavement system in similar discrete sections to provide the database that describes the entire pavement system to be managed.

Study of Conditions:

The conditions of each inventoried section are evaluated by various methods. This phase identifies the IEP for each section. Pavement condition studies are generally conducted annually to monitor the performance of the pavement system.

Identification of Maintenance and Rehabilitation Alternatives:

Specific maintenance and rehabilitation procedures that can be used for each category of pavement status are identified and incorporated into the system. Along with each procedure, the associated costs, the IEP improvement obtained, the useful life cycle, etc. are also included.

How to seal asphalt
How to seal asphalt?

Seal an Asphalt Driveway

  • Open a bucket of asphalt sealer and stir for consistency. A paint stick works well.
  • Pour enough sealant from the drum to work small areas with a large squeegee.
  • Push the sealant back and forth with the squeegee. Keep the insulation layer thin and even. It’s kind of like painting a wall with a roller. Cover the entire disc.
  • Clean the squeegee with water when you are finished.
  • Stay out of the aisle for at least 24 hours. If necessary, take two drums and place a 2×4 across the top to keep cars and people out.

The Benefits of Sealing Cracks

If cracks are not sealed in asphalt concrete pavements, water penetration from the surface can reduce the strength of the base and sub-base layers, which can result in increased deflections and an acceleration of the deterioration of the surface due to the formation of greater cracks, sags and potholes. Sealing of cracks is done to reduce water penetration and therefore to help maintain the structural capacity of the pavement, thus limiting future degradation.

Effective crack sealing was found to significantly reduce pothole formation and additional cracking. Potholes and additional cracks are formed in 75% to 80% of unsealed cracks compared to only 1% of sealed cracks. The study concluded that effective crack sealing reduces future pavement deterioration.

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