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Pavement Approaches
By Michael Rorar
Released/Published: Aug 11, 2014

Water is the most common cause of pavement failure to our city streets. Every time it rains or snows, water penetrates the pavement through the cracks. To prevent the water from penetrating into the pavement, the cracks need to be sealed. Sealing the cracks will prevent water from entering the base and sub-base and will extend the life of the pavement. Filling cracks and joints is not new, it just hasn't been performed in the city in awhile. When water is prevented from penetrating, pavement deterioration (potholes) is slowed.

This summer the city will be filling and sealing cracks by the following two methods:

1. Crack Sealing

Roads that should be crack sealed are roads that have been paved within the past few years. The cracking on these roads should be minor and consist of longitudinal or transverse cracking.

The sealant is an asphalt based product that is applied hot to fill or seal cracks and joints in asphalt or concrete pavements. Once it is applied it forms a highly adhesive and flexible compound that resists cracking and shrinking in the winter and summer. It can be used in most highway or street pavements situations by either using a pressure feed melter or pour pots.

2. Chip Seal

Roads that should be chip sealed are roads that the cracking is too severe, and the cracks are too numerous to crack seal. This type of cracking is called fatigue cracking or "alligator" cracking (it looks like the scales of an alligator). The aforementioned technique of crack sealing cannot treat this type of pavement failure.

Chip sealing is a commonly used throughout the State of Ohio. It is applied by a thin film of heated liquid asphalt being sprayed on the entire road surface (sealing all existing cracks), followed by the placement of small aggregates ("chips"). The chips are then compacted to adhere to the existing asphalt, and excess stone is swept from the surface. Many Canton residents may not be familiar with chip seal, so here are five reasons why it is being used.

  1. Chip Seal extends the life of the pavement and the time between asphalt overlays, which results in lower costs over the long term.
  2. By placing a chip seal sooner than an asphalt overlay would be placed, residents benefit from roads maintained in better condition.
  3. Chip Seal eliminates the need to crack seal.
  4. Chip Seal provide an effective moisture barrier for the underlying pavement against water intrusion by sealing cracks in the pavement.
  5. In hot weather, chip seals re-seal cracks by flowing back together.


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