Cracks will eventually form on your parking lot—it is virtually unavoidable. They are a normal sign of regular use that cannot be prevented altogether. Cracks occur in a variety of different ways, depending on the stressors of the environment. Some happen due to slippage, some because of underlying base issues, and some are simply due to age. Recognizing when to deal with them is important. Here are reasons why this is the case, and how to go about dealing with them.
More Than a Minor Problem
Cracks in asphalt pavement are more than unsightly — they are a threat to the life of your pavement. Asphalt pavement relies on a stable, strong base to give it the ability to remain flexible when subjected to traffic. Without a stable base, the pavement can sag or potholes and extensive cracking can occur. This can result in a pavement that cannot be saved, required total removal and replacement. Cracks give water a path to the base, causing erosion and weakening the pavement’s much-needed support system. It’s important to take note of the cracks in your parking lot, keeping an eye on their formation and how quickly they are growing. Cracks that widen quickly or are more than ¼ inch across should be dealt with right away. These can often be repaired with asphalt patching. Patching involves filling the damaged areas with asphalt, which improves structural integrity and reduces the need for removal and resurfacing.
‘Alligator’ cracking is another common blacktop repair issue. This is when small cracks spread across the surface of your parking lot with an appearance that somewhat resembles alligator skin. This is a more serious issue, as it’s evidence of greater wear and structural faults. Alligator cracking often requires asphalt resurfacing in order to provide a more long-term and ultimately cost-effective solution for your lot. Experts will to assess your parking lot and advise on the best way to proceed with your asphalt repair. These cracks get their name from their appearance, which resembles an alligator’s skin. They are shallow, but often require a full depth reclamation to remedy. Not every crack requires immediate repair. If you see a crack that’s wider than a quarter inch, it’s time to call in a professional.
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