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Property owners with asphalt parking lots, or asphalt walkways will understand how quickly faults can appear from out of nowhere. Faults in your asphalt can occur for many reasons, salt from the winter, freeze thaw cycles and other extreme weather conditions can all take part in asphalt degradation. Fortunately, most asphalt erosion and damage is fixable.

We have outlined a couple of common problems that can occur, and what is required to fix these issues. Identifying asphalt problems and their origins is important, and if you have an idea on what to look for, your asphalt repair team will thank you for it.

CRACKS

Asphalt cracks can form in a variety of different ways. Each one of these is typically caused by different issues. Understanding the cause of a particular type of crack will help you understand the resolution. Here are a few examples of asphalt cracking and some of the ways they can be remediated.

Alligator cracking

A structural failure in the asphalt caused by weaknesses in the ground surface, sub-grade or ground base. It can also be caused by a thin surface and bad drainage. Alligator cracking normally begins in the wheel path as linear cracking and ends up as alligator cracking after intense stress. Alligatored asphalt can also be a sign of delamination. This is when the two formal layers of asphalt, typically base and surface course materials, become disconnected from one another. This can happen as a result of a couple of different things; however, the most common is lack of tack coat between the layers.

REPAIR:

If the failure is determined to be structural, the only real solution is to perform a full-depth patch repair. In the event that the failure is delamination, a surface repair such as asphalt patching or infrared repairs can be performed.

Block cracks

Large connected rectangle shaped breakages caused by shrinkage of the asphalt pavement, which is caused by a faulty binder, which won’t expand and contract with temperature cycles.

REPAIR:

Cracks in the range of 3/8” to 1” can be sealed to avoid moisture from inflowing to the subgrade; however larger cracks need to be repaired by completely removing the cracked asphalt layer and replacing it with an overlay.

Linear cracking

Parallel cracks in line with the pavement’s centerline and can be caused by asphalt fatigue, or poor construction. Linear Cracking is also the first type of cracking you will see in a standard asphalt parking lot or road.

REPAIR:

Cracks in the range of 3/8” to 1” can be sealed to avoid moisture from in-flowing to the sub-grade; however larger cracks need to be repaired by completely removing the cracked asphalt layer and replacing it with an overlay.

Transverse cracks

Lone cracks horizontal to the pavement’s center line. Diagonal cracks can be caused by cracks from an underlying layer, abrupt daily temperature cycles, and poor construction. Transverse Cracks will initially appear widely spaced from one another (50’ Intervals or greater) and continue to appear closer to one another as the asphalt continues to age.

REPAIR:

Cracks in the range of 3/8” to 1” can be sealed to avoid moisture from in-flowing to the sub-grade; however larger cracks need to be repaired by completely removing the cracked asphalt layer and replacing it with an overlay.

Edge Cracks

Run along the edge of an asphalt surface within one or two feet. The most likely cause of edge cracks is poor drainage and lack of support at the roadway/parking lot edge. Dense vegetation beside the roadway can also be a cause.

REPAIR:

Remove vegetation that grows close to the edge of the asphalt and fix any drainage problems. Fill the cracks to avert further weakening.

Slippage cracks

Tears or curved cracks in the surface layer of asphalt where the new material has slipped over the original path, which is instigated by a lack of bonding between layers.

REPAIR:

All of the areas exhibiting the slippage cracks will need to be removed and will require a full depth patch.

 

POTHOLES

Areas where there is an obvious loss of pavement material. Leaving behind sharp edges and vertical sides near the top of the hole. Potholes are caused by moisture accessing the asphalt, and penetrating through to the sub-base of the area. Potholes can also form in conditions where the asphalt hasn’t been compacted adequately and the material has begun to ravel out of place. Another possible cause would be unrepaired alligator cracking.

REPAIR:

Full depth replacement.

If your asphalt is showing signs of fatigue or cracking, contact your local asphalt specialists to ensure the problem doesn’t get out of control.