When it comes to providing your parking lot with sufficient asphalt crack sealing (cracksealing), there are a wide variety of environmental factors to take into consideration. Winter is certainly the most taxing season for asphalt, as the frigid temperatures force the asphalt to quickly contract, trapping frozen water below the pavement and causing cracking and frost heaving to occur.
When the first signs of spring come to fruition, it may feel urgent to begin sealing the cracks in your parking lot right away. However, if you crackseal too early, the air temperature may not be warm enough to completely cure the material. Let’s take a closer look at how soon you should crackseal your parking lot after winter, as well as why professional cracksealing is crucial for efficient asphalt maintenance.
Best Time To Crackseal
Spring can be a tricky season when it comes to assessing the best time to crackseal your asphalt parking lot, because weather conditions can still be somewhat unpredictable. generally, March is almost too soon to begin cracksealing your parking lot, especially in Minnesota. Snow and cold temperatures are common in Minnesota throughout the month of March, as the average amount of days experiencing snowfall is 7 days (compared to 4 days in April), while the average high temperature throughout March is 41 degrees (compared to 58 in April).
The general rule of thumb to start cracksealing your asphalt parking lot is commonly anytime after April 15, while waiting until at least May 1 is a safe bet to err on the side of caution. This time of year tends to allow for warmer temperatures to acclimate, as well as can yield less rainfall compared to the first two weeks of April. Generally speaking, you want to crackseal your parking lot when temperatures are consistently above 50 degrees.
It’s imperative to keep an eye out on the weather forecast for longer stretches of rain when considering when to crackseal your parking lot, as water is the biggest threat to asphalt pavement maintenance. The more your unsealed asphalt parking lot is exposed to water, the greater the odds of experiencing long-term deterioration, specifically with water moving into cracks within the pavement and potentially progressing under-surface contractions.
The Importance of Cracksealing Your Parking Lot
Cracks and potholes in your pavement are only going to cause more problems in the long run if not immediately addressed. When spring comes around and snow begins to melt while rainfall increases, cracksealing and pothole patching are crucial in preventing water infiltration. Professional cracksealing will boost the performance of your asphalt pavement by:
- Routing, a process performed prior to sealing the cracks, is performed using equipment that expands all cracks to ¼” wide, creating a reservoir for a rubberized crack sealant to fill up.
- Cracksealing crews will thoroughly clean out the cracks, allowing for optimal adhesion.
- After routing is complete, rubber is installed into the reservoirs, penetrating cracks while creating a waterproof seal that will prevent leaking.
Get Your Parking Lot Professionally Cracksealed By Bituminous Roadways
Once spring has officially settled in, it’s time to start sealing any cracks to ensure your parking lot remains in pristine condition all year long. If your asphalt parking lot is in need of a protective asphalt maintenance plan, contact the professionals at Bituminous Roadways to get started immediately on quality cracksealing work, or give us a call at (651) 686-7001 to speak directly with one of our asphalt maintenance experts.