Here Are Different Types Of Cracks On Asphalt Pavements And What They Indicate

If you have an asphalt parking lot or pavement, you may have noticed that it is prone to cracking at some point. Various factors can lead to cracks in your asphalt pavement, such as frequent use by heavy vehicles or long-term exposure to heat, water, ice, etc. It's crucial to understand that different kinds of asphalt cracks exist, and identifying them can be invaluable in determining the most effective approach to fixing them. In any case, you should seek professional help at the first indicator of cracks on your asphalt pavement to avoid extensive damage over time. Learn more about four possible types of asphalt cracks in the guide below:

Fatigue Cracks

Also referred to as alligators, these consist of numerous cracks and resemble an alligator's skin. The damage can arise from a combination of factors like bearing heavy loads, frequent temperature fluctuations, and poor drainage. You're also likely to experience fatigue cracks if your asphalt layer is thin or your pavement has a weak base material. Regardless of the cause, you should invest in timely repairs if you notice such cracks. If you fail to address this problem in time, the cracks will continue to spread, ruining your pavement.

Traverse Cracking

These are cracks that cut perpendicular to the way in which your asphalt driveway was laid. Notably, you're likely to notice this kind of damage when your pavement is aging. A significant change in temperature or shrinkage of the asphalt layer can also bring about this problem. Moreover, while heavy loads don't cause traverse cracks, they can aggravate the problem. Fortunately, your paving contractor can seal the cracks if they aren't severe, thereby protecting against moisture damage. On the other hand, in case of extensive damage, the professional may need to remove the affected area and add an overlay.

Linear Cracking

This is a long, vertical crack that runs in a line parallel to your pavement's centerline. Several elements may lead to this problem, such as a joint that has been poorly constructed or a shrinking of the asphalt. Nonetheless, applying asphalt sealant on the cracks can help prevent the elements from causing extensive damage.

Rectangular Cracks

Referred to as block cracks, this damage to your asphalt surface affects a large part of your paved area, even in sections that don't see a lot of traffic. In many cases, such cracks arise from temperature fluctuation. Keep in mind that asphalt is made from a mix of different aggregate materials. Rectangular cracks manifest if the mix doesn't expand or contract effectively when temperatures change. The repairs for such cracks largely depend on the extent of the damage.

As soon as you notice any of the cracks mentioned in this guide on your asphalt pavement, seek the intervention of an asphalt paving professional. It will safeguard you from extensive damage down the road.