How Serious Are Asphalt Cracks?

How Serious Are Asphalt Cracks? las vegas asphalt crackfillingAsphalt is the leading paving material for everything from large commercial parking lots to quiet suburban streets. Asphalt pavement can be installed faster than a concrete pavement of the same size, and the costs will be substantially less. If properly installed and maintained, asphalt pavement can have a useful life of several decades. However, no reputable asphalt company would deny that some cracks will eventually appear in the pavement. You should always take asphalt cracks seriously, and you should have your contractor evaluate their cause and recommend an appropriate remedy.

What Causes Cracks in Asphalt Pavements?

Asphalt pavements can develop various cracks, and these cracks are not all caused by the same thing. Some types of cracks can have more than one potential cause. However, the cause of cracks can be broadly categorized as improper pavement design or installation, abuse or neglect after installation, or environmental factors.

What Types of Asphalt Cracks Are Caused by Improper Design or Installation?

Asphalt pavements are designed to support a specific number of vehicles of specific weights on an average day. Contractors use the expected weight and number of vehicles when designing a proper foundation and calculating the asphalt pavement thickness. If the design is incorrect or improperly executed, fatigue cracks, joint cracks, edge cracks, or slippage cracks can occur.

What Types of Asphalt Cracks Are Caused by Abuse or Neglect?

If a pavement is supposed to bear only passenger vehicles, subjecting it to heavier loads can cause alligator cracks, edge cracks, or slippage cracks. However, alligator cracking can also be caused by an unstable or damaged foundation. Automotive fluids soften asphalt pavements, making the affected area more prone to damage. If you do not maintain your sealcoating, the sun’s rays can rob your pavement of its moisture, and dry asphalt pavements tend to develop numerous large fatigue cracks.

What Types of Asphalt Cracks Are Caused by Environmental Factors?

Block cracks can be caused by asphalt shrinkage, a lack of moisture in the underlying soil, or thermal fluctuation. These three causes can also lead to transverse cracks and longitudinal cracks. Nearby shrubs or trees can contribute to edge cracking.

How Are Asphalt Cracks Repaired?

Asphalt crack filling and pavement crack sealing are the two primary repair methods. The method depends on the type of crack and the integrity of the surrounding pavement. For most cracks, pavement crack sealing is the preferred method; crack sealers are flexible, so they can expand and contract when the pavement does. Asphalt crack filler is much more rigid, so it may not last as long as a crack sealer. However, under certain conditions, crack filling may be the best option. If the pavement suffers from alligator cracking, it is quite likely that neither crack filling nor sealing will be possible. Instead, it may be necessary to remove the damaged pavement and install a patch. Only your contractor can recommend which of these paving services will be the best way to deal with your asphalt pavement cracks.

For Exceptional Results, You Need an Exceptional Company

At Affordable Striping & Sealing, we are proud to serve the Las Vegas area with exemplary asphalt work and remarkable customer service. Our paving services for parking lot maintenance include sealcoating, traffic sign installation, layout and design, striping and pavement markings, and asphalt crack repair. For a free quote, give us a call at 702-222-9009 or submit the online form.