Edge-Joint Sealing as a Preventative Maintenance Practice

Status:  Complete
Report Date:  10/28/2003


Preventive maintenance treatments such as joint sealing are part of ongoing research at the Minnesota Road Research test facility. Pavement sections at the test facility are instrumented extensively, thus providing automated measurements of changes in pavement moisture and drainage due to varying climate conditions. Joint sealing studies involve measuring changes in edge drain outflow and base moisture content in response to precipitation events. Concrete test sections and longitudinal edge drains were constructed. Data was collected before and after edge joints were sealed on concrete sections. There was no significant difference in the volume drained between the control and the test section prior to sealing the joint on the test section. After sealing the edge joint, there was a significant reduction in the volume drained from the test section. Sealing the edge joint on concrete pavements with bituminous shoulders is shown to reduce the total volume of water entering the pavement system by as much as 85% for a given rain event. Sealing the longitudinal edge joint on concrete pavements should be considered as a pavement preventive maintenance treatment.

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