Crackseal comes in many different forms to serve a common purpose. Crackseal is made to prevent water from entering a crack in the asphalt surface. It is performed in a process that assures the best overall function.
After all vegetation is removed, highly compressed air is forced into the crack to remove all dirt, dust, rocks, and other debris. A pipe is attached to an air compressor so that the air can be applied directly into the crack. Any debris left in the crack will inhibit the crackseal from sticking to the asphalt.
After the crack has been cleaned, the crackseal material can be applied. This material is made of asphalt, rubber, polymers, and other aggregates. It is engineered to be flexible enough to move with the asphalt but be strong enough to stick to the asphalt and not cars or tires or shoes.
As asphalt gets hot and cold through the year, it expands and contracts. The crackseal needs to be able to move with these changes. There are different products for different climates. The material also needs to be able to stay flexible in the winter, but not too flexible in the summer.
Crackseal is applied at about 370-400 degrees. It is then placed in the crack through a wand and the excess material is immediately taken from the top, leaving a band-aid over the top of the crack. This gives the material enough surface area for the material to adhere to the asphalt as well as keep the crack sealed.
Crackseal should have a useful life of about 2-3 years. Weather, traffic, and other forces have an effect on this. Recommendations are to seal the cracks in an area every other year. Crackseal seems to be the most cost effective treatment to asphalt. By preventing water from getting to the base, the structure will remain sound.