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Top 5 Reasons Why Your Asphalt Pavement Is Cracked

Is your asphalt cracked and worn out? Then it’s time for repairs. First, it’s best to understand why your pavement  is cracking – you don’t want to have to repair it again next year. Here’s the top five reasons your pavement is cracked, and what to troubleshoot.

Alligator cracking means too much stress.

The most notable kind of pavement cracks are alligator cracks (sometimes crocodile cracks), so named because they look like the markings on an alligator’s back. Alligator cracking is a sign of serious fatigue and means the pavement is overloaded, bearing too much weight for what it was built for. Tell your contractor your needs instead of looking for the bargain, so you know your sub-base is quality.

Poor drainage.

If there is little to no drainage on your property, or you’re getting a lot of run off from a nearby slope, this can cause serious issues for your sub-base or even start to separate the asphalt layers from the aggregate (that’s the layer of stone or slag under the construction area). A sealant will help with this.

Heavy thaw and temperature change.

Much like cracks caused by poor drainage, if you suffer from heavy spring thaws or rapid, highly variable temperature changes, your pavement can crack from over-expansion of an asphalt layer, or just water weakening the sub-base. To treat it, get a pro who knows how to layer properly and it will save you money.

Stripping and raveling.

This is what happens when the asphalt separates from the aggregate, often as a result of an improper first layering. When this happens, you’ll need a pro to fix it. To make sure you don’t spend an arm and a leg on pavement repairs, make sure you hire the best the first time around, or at least on the first fix!

Lack of edge support.

The edges of your pavement can crack in crescents and penetrate the sub-base if the support around the pavement area has not been properly laid, and water has begun to seep into the mix or the base. Again, sealant can help when you start to notice small cracks, but once they’re big, you’ll need a professional.

If you have problems with cracking and are in need of pavement repairs, call Dykes Paving, with four decades of experience in the Atlanta metro area!