Section 4: Preventive Maintenance Guidelines

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Importance of Preventive Maintenance

An effective preventive maintenance program should include periodic application of preventive maintenance treatments. In order to be cost-effective, preventive maintenance should be performed before pavements display significant amounts of distress. Pavements with extensive cracking, potholes and patches or unstable asphalt concrete may not be good candidates for preventive maintenance, but may be considered for reconstruction.

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Flexible Pavement Preventive Maintenance

Several types of treatments can be used for pavement preventive maintenance. Options for flexible pavements follow:

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  • Crack seal is an application of sealing material directly in the cracks of the pavement surface to prevent moisture damage.
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  • Fog seal is bitumen materials sprayed directly on the surface of the existing pavement. This treatment enriches the surface of the pavement edges and can prevent the loss of aggregates and seal coat.
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  • Seal coat is a spray application of binder immediately covered by a single layer of one-sized aggregates. Seal coat can be placed in either single or multiple layers.
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  • Thin hot-mix overlays are similar to conventional overlays except the thickness is 2 inches or less. Generally, thin hot-mix overlays can correct irregularities that cannot be corrected with most other types of preventive maintenance.
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Options for Rigid Pavements

Fewer preventive maintenance options are available for rigid pavements. Generally, joint seals and crack seals are the options for jointed concrete pavement. Joints should be inspected routinely and should be maintained to exclude foreign material to preserve the integrity of the joint. Voids under the pavement can be filled with a grout material. For rapidly deteriorating continuously reinforced concrete pavement, the slab failure should be repaired and a thin overlay may be applied.

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