Asphalt-Pavement Repairs: 3 Common Asphalt-Pavement Cracks and Ways to Handle Them

When you manage or own an asphalt pavement, whether a parking lot or driveway, you want to be prepared to handle any problems that may come with the pavement's exposure to weather elements and traffic from vehicles. Asphalt repairs, if not handled early enough, will become more severe and costly to manage. With time, you won't miss a crack or two on your asphalt pavements. Repairing cracks in your asphalt driveway may not be challenging. However, knowing how to repair the cracks is usually the tricky part because there are different types of cracks, each which needs to be handled in a unique way. The following are some of these types of cracks and some tips on how to deal with them.

Edge Cracks

If you notice crumbling along the edges, your asphalt pavement is telling you that the asphalt that was laid along those edges was too thin or that you have poor drainage. If the asphalt laid was too thin, the support of your pavement along the edges will be low, making the pavement susceptible to abuse from heavy traffic and weather elements. To solve this problem, start by fixing any drainage issues. Any vegetation along the edges should also be removed. These cracks can be sealed or filled with emulsified asphalt sealers or fillers to prevent any further deterioration.

Alligator Cracks

Alligator or fatigue cracks will form on your asphalt pavement when its structural support becomes inadequate. Inadequate structural sturdiness or support can be caused by a couple of things, such as poor construction, a weak surface, poor drainage, excessive loading, or a combination of all of these things. Alligator cracks appear as a series of several interconnected cracks that resemble a spider web or the back of an alligator. While filling and sealing are the common remedies for major asphalt pavement cracks, they usually don't work with this kind of cracks. The causes of the cracks have to be identified and repaired. Therefore, for small and localised cracks that indicate inadequate subgrade support, full-depth patching is the solution. This involves digging out the cracked area, replacing the poor subgrade, improving the drainage of the area, and patching the repaired subgrade. For large cracks indicating general failure of structure, placing strong overlays over the whole surface of your pavement is usually effective.

Longitudinal Cracks

These are cracks that run parallel to the centreline of your asphalt pavement. Some of the causes of these types of cracks are shrinkage of the surface layer, poor construction at the joints and pavement fatigue. Consider yourself lucky if your pavement has these cracks because you will only need crack sealants to effectively fix them. However, you must act quickly because these cracks deepen with time.