Do you find that your asphalt pavement is cracked and worn out? If that is the case, it is time for some repairs. However, it is best to know and understand exactly why your pavement is cracking so you can prevent from doing continuous repairs on it in the future. Here are the top five reasons why your asphalt pavement is cracked, and what to do to prevent it from happening again in the future.
1) Alligator Cracking = Too Much Stress
This is the most notable and common of pavement cracks (often called alligator/crocodile cracks). They are named that because they look like the markings on the back of an alligator. Alligator cracking is a sign of serious stress and means that the pavement is overloaded because it is bearing too much weight for what it was built for.
The solution: next time tell your contractor what your pavement needs are, so they can install a quality sub-base for whatever purpose it is used for.
2) Poor Drainage
If there is no drainage on your property, or you are getting a lot of runoff from a nearby sloping hill, this can cause serious issues for your sub-base and may separate the asphalt layer from the aggregate, which is the layer of stone/slag under the construction area.
The solution: implement a sealant to help with this problem.
3) Temperature Changes and Heavy Thawing
Much like the cracks caused by poor drainage, if you suffer from spring thaws or highly unpredictable temperature changes, your pavement can crack from the expanding and contracting of the asphalt layer, or from the water weakening the sub-base.
The solution: Get a professional contractor who knows how to layer the pavement properly in accordance with the weather conditions.
4) Stripping and Raveling
This is what happens when the asphalt gets separated from the aggregate, usually because of a result of an improper layering job the first time around. If this happens, you will need a professional to fix it. To ensure that you don’t spend more money on future pavement repairs, make sure to hire someone like T&R Driveway Sealing and Repairs with any future pavement needs.
5) Lack of Edge Support
The edges of the pavement can crack into crescent shapes and penetrate the sub-base if the support around that pavement area has not been properly laid. This can cause water to seep into the mix or the base.
The solution: sealant will help slow down the process when you start to notice the small cracks, but you will have to enlist help once the cracks get bigger.