Asphalt surfaces often succumb to the effects of weathering and cracking over time. While some fractures are simply cosmetic, others can lead to bigger problems down the road if left untreated. If you’re handy with a sealant and a caulking gun, you may be wondering what the best way to seal cracks in your asphalt driveway or patio is: hot pour crack sealer or cold pour crack sealer?
Let’s look at each method a bit closer to help you decide which is suitable for your project.
Why is a Sealant Needed?
Sealing pavement cracks is essential because it helps to prevent water from seeping into the cracks and causing further damage. It also keeps out vegetation, dirt, and debris that lead to pavement deterioration.
How Does Hot Pour Crack Sealing Work?
This process involves filling cracks with a hot, melted sealant. This method is often used for pavement cracks that are wider or deeper than ¼ inch. The advantage of hot pour crack sealing is that it can be done in a shorter amount of time and provides a more seamless seal.
Here are some other characteristics and benefits of a hot pour crack sealer:
- It can be used for highways, commercial driveways, parking lots, and main roads
- It can withstand heavy traffic like cars, trucks, and RVs
- It is pricier than cold pour pavement crack sealer but provides a more permanent solution
- The application process takes a shorter time
- It adjusts to weather changes and can withstand extreme temperatures
- Is always asphalt-based
How Does a Cold Pour Crack Sealer Work?
This is a denser material applied at a lower temperature. It is suitable for pavement cracks that are shallower than ¼ inch. The advantage of using a cold pour crack sealer is that it can be applied in wet or dry conditions.
Below are some other characteristics of a cold pour crack sealer:
- It is delivered to the site in liquid form
- It needs more curing time
- It becomes inflexible when dry, which means it can’t adjust to changes in temperature changes
- It offers a temporary solution for severe damages
- It is not as durable due to its inflexibility
- It doesn’t bond with asphalt too well, so there’s a chance you’ll have to get those cracks repaired repeatedly.
What Is the Key Difference Between Hot Pour Crack Sealers and Cold Pour Crack Sealers?
The main difference is the temperature at which each sealant is applied. This temperature difference further affects the cure time, pavement bonding strength, and flexibility of each sealant.
Which Type of Crack Sealer Should I Use?
The pavement crack sealer you should use depends on the cracks’ severity, the area’s temperature range, and your budget.
If the pavement cracks are small and not very deep, you can use a cold pour crack sealer. It is best applied in the fall or spring when the temperature is cool.
However, if the pavement cracks are large or deep, you will need to use a hot pour crack sealer. It can be applied in any temperature range but is best used in the summer when it is hot.
Laurel Asphalt is a full-service asphalt paving company that provides crack sealing services to homeowners and businesses in Ligonier. If you need high-quality asphalt paving or sealcoating services, please get a free estimate before starting out.