As time passes, asphalt parking lots, driveways, and roadways all start showing signs of wear-and-tear. Cracking on the surface is often the first way you know it’s time to get serious about preventive maintenance. Proper attention to new and/or worsening cracks in your asphalt surface is crucial to extending the life of the pavement and saving money in future repair costs.

Crack sealing is a cost-effective preventative maintenance practice for all asphalt pavement surfaces. Routine crack sealing wards off further pavement deterioration by keeping water from seeping into and damaging the base or sub-base of the asphalt. Crack sealing also prevents debris from making its way into open cracks while preserving the pavement surrounding the cracks.

By addressing the need for asphalt repairs as soon as you notice deterioration, you’re delaying the need for expensive pavement resurfacing and significantly saving on future costs.

Types of Asphalt Pavement Cracks

Types of Asphalt Pavement Cracks

Asphalt roadway with edge cracking damage to the surface.

EDGE CRACK

EDGE CRACK

Parallel-appearing cracks that are near the pavement’s edge. Cracks that appear, and travel, parallel to the edges of pavement surfaces. If left ignored, the underlying base materials will begin to settle and become very weak.

Caused by: Poor drainage conditions, a weak support system at the edge of pavement, heavy traffic, and too much vegetation.

An asphalt road with visible slippage cracking on the pavement surface.

SLIPPAGE CRACK

SLIPPAGE CRACK

Crescent-shaped cracks/tears in the top surface layers of the asphalt, where new materials have slipped over the underlying asphalt.

Caused by: A poor bonding between the layers. Often because of dirt, oil, and debris not allowing the layers to adhere to each other. Also may be from not using a prime-coat wasn’t used to bond the asphalt to the stone underneath; and/or a tack-coat wasn’t used to develop the bond between asphalt layers.

An area of an asphalt road with large longitudinal cracks on the pavement's surface.

LONGITUDINAL CRACK

LONGITUDINAL CRACK

(Also known as linear cracking) Cracks that are parallel to the center line of the pavement.

Caused by: Pavement fatigue, reflective cracks, and/or improper construction of the joints.

Square shaped block cracking on an asphalt roadway.

BLOCK CRACK

BLOCK CRACK

Large cracking that forms a square or rectangular pattern, intersecting at approximately 90 degree angles.

Caused by: Lack of vehicle traffic and/or shrinkage of the asphalt pavement from temperature cycles.

An example of joint reflection cracking on an asphalt road.

JOINT REFLECTION

JOINT REFLECTION

Cracks that form on a flexible pavement overlay of a rigid pavement, like asphalt over the top of concrete. Joint cracks are created from improperly bonded joints.

Caused by: Usually created during the initial construction process when the edges of two asphalt pavement mats don’t bond together properly.

Severe alligator crack patterns on an asphalt pavement surface.

ALLIGATOR CRACK

ALLIGATOR CRACK

This type of crack signifies total structural failure. These usually start off as small longitudinal cracks in the wheel-path, and end up as alligator cracks after distress. Flexible asphalt becomes less tolerable to vertical deflections over time. Tension is then created, resulting in alligator-type-cracking. When pavement has reached this level of deterioration, we recommend removing or replacing the asphalt, instead of cracksealing or filling.

Caused by: Overall weak surface, base, and/or sub grade due to oxidation, aging, structural inadequacy, poor drainage. or all of those mentioned.

Crack Routing

For some pavement conditions, crack routing may be necessary. This process widens and deepens existing cracks in order to create a proper reservoir for the crack sealing material to adhere to the pavement. Routing is especially effective for areas that see a lot of heavy truck traffic. Determining whether to route the cracks or not also depends on the type(s) of cracks, whether the cracks have already been sealed before, budget, and pavement downtime.

Leave it to The Experts!

The pavement professionals at Pavement Solutions, LLC have the training and expertise to give you outstanding results at reasonable rates. Our asphalt repair crews have decades of experience with proven techniques for crack routing and crack sealing in order to prevent potholes and extend the lifespan of parking lots, driveways, and roadways exponentially. Request a free estimate or call us for more information today!

Posted by C. Butler on 5/11/21