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Three Types Of Asphalt Cracks - And What To Do About Them

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If your asphalt driveway or parking lot is riddled with cracks, it needs to be repaired quickly to preserve the safety of everyone who travels on it. Crack filling is the usual remedy for asphalt cracks, although in the case of very severe cracks it may be necessary to resurface the asphalt completely. Keep reading to learn about the most common types of asphalt cracks today, and to find out how these cracks are addressed by pavement contractors.

Alligator Cracks

Alligator cracks tend to develop in groups, and are named for their similarity to the appearance of alligator skin. It is common for alligator cracks to begin as a small round cluster of cracks that then radiate outwards in all directions. If the alligator cracks cover only a small surface area, they can often be repaired by filling the cracks with replacement asphalt and then applying a crack sealant.

However, very large alligator cracks will commonly require a replacement patch of asphalt. In rare cases, the entire pavement shows alligator cracks. This may be more common in very old pavements that have been neglected for years. If this is the case, an asphalt pavement contractor like Central Paving & Sealcoating Inc may recommend entirely new pavement.

Block Cracks

Block cracks are large cracks that typically bisect the whole driveway or parking lot. Sometimes there may be several block cracks in the asphalt at one time. An asphalt injection followed by crack sealant is normally enough to repair this kind of crack.

A layer of sealcoating is often applied atop the crack sealant on block cracks, especially if the entire pavement has not been sealcoated recently. If the block cracks are very thin ones, asphalt injection may not be necessary. Instead, a very thin new pouring of asphalt followed by sealcoating may be sufficient. A block crack rarely requires the replacement of a whole section of asphalt.

Edge Cracks

Edge cracks are concentrated on the outer perimeter of the driveway or parking lot. Edge cracks are often long and very thin. Typically, they occur due to poor drainage or pressure from dirt and vegetation at the edges of the asphalt. The approach to fixing edge cracks is usually two part.

First, the drainage or pressure issue must be resolved. If the issue is not resolved prior to the repair, edge cracks will likely develop again. Once the reason for the edge cracks is identified and resolved, the cracks are filled with asphalt. The entire area may then be sealcoated. Edge cracks rarely require pavement replacement, however if left unchecked for years they could cause structural failure of the pavement that will necessitate replacement.

If you think your pavement might need crack filling or another type of repair, contact your local asphalt pavement contractor to discuss your options today!