How does asphalt crack?

cracks along asphalt

What causes asphalt to crack?

Here in Texas, when summer arrives, things get hot. They get so hot, they crack, melt, and sometimes, disintegrate. This includes all things asphalt, like driveways and parking lots.  However, it isn’t just the heat that causes asphalt cracking, there are other factors that create a crack on asphalt, and fortunately, there is durable asphalt crack repair method and products. 

Before any asphalt crack repairs begin, determining what the asphalt crack causes needs to be determined. An inspection of the extent of the damage and deterioration needs to be identified as well. There are 8 main types of asphalt cracking that create the need for asphalt crack repairs: 

  • Fatigue Cracks
    Sometimes referred to as alligator cracking. Caused by load-related deterioration because of a weak subgrade, too thin pavement, overloaded, or any combination of these. 
  • Block Cracks
    Typically, rectangular cracks that are a foot or bigger and can be in non-traffic areas, caused by temperature caused shrinkage of the asphalt. 
  • Edge Cracks
    Longitudinal cracks that develop within two feet of the pavement’s outer edge and are caused by the edge not being well supported. 
  • Longitudinal Cracks
    Typically parallel to the centerline and caused by poor construction of the joint, the asphalt shrinking, cracks in the underlying layer, or poor paver operation. 
  • Transverse Cracks
    Perpendicular to the centerline and caused by asphalt shrinking or from an existing crack that wasn’t properly repaired first. 
  • Reflection Cracks
    These cracks form over other cracks or joints in concrete pavement or from deteriorated asphalt underneath that moves. 
  • Slippage Cracks
    Poor bonding or poor mix of the asphalt materials between the layers cause these crescent-shaped cracks when vehicles brake or turn.

Does anyone know how to stop asphalt from cracking?

Seal coating the asphalt when it is installed will minimize the chance of any cracking. Seal coating is an additional expense up front, but cheaper and more convenient to seal coat before cracking than having an asphalt crack repair job done later. 

What is asphalt crack sealing?

When there is a crack in the asphalt, which method of asphalt crack repair is better: Filling or Sealing?  A professional asphalt contractor will inspect and carefully evaluate the type of asphalt crack it is first. 

If it is a non-working crack will little to no edge deterioration, crack filling is the best asphalt crack repair option. Crack sealing is the method of asphalt crack repair for cracks that have a limited amount of deteriorating edges. 

crack with plant coming through

What is the best asphalt crack repair?

If you can do your own asphalt crack repairs, you can save money and your driveway. When cracked asphalt is left unattended, it becomes an eyesore and it weakens the driveway, making it susceptible to more damage. 

If you live in a cold climate, water seeping into those cracks freezes, expands, and causes more cracks. You can purchase a squeeze bottle or tube of asphalt and crack filler for a temporary job, then have a professional asphalt crack repair job done after winter. 

Or you can use the same type of product that the highway crews do for asphalt crack repairs. It is melted into the crack and then use a towel to spread it over the surface around the crack. This must be prefaced with an asphalt crack cleaner first and making sure no loose debris or rocks in the area of the crack being repaired.

The heated, melted-in crack filler method will last longer and you probably won’t need a professional asphalt crack repair service later. Especially if the crack you repair is less than 20 feet long, deeper than 6 inches, or wider than 1 to 2 inches.

Why is asphalt crack repair so important?  Ideally, asphalt crack repairs need to be addressed as soon as the cracks are noticed. You want to prevent these cracks from expanding and creating asphalt crack hazards. 

Whether the asphalt crack repairs are for your private driveway or a private parking lot, it is an important part of property maintenance that shouldn’t be ignored. Consider this preventive maintenance that will keep your asphalt from eroding, because when it is left on its own, the cracks will spread and cause bigger problems. 

Bigger problems like potholes and more. Then the potholes, when they are left unrepaired, like asphalt crack repairs, they just get deeper and wider too. The bigger the holes, the more water they hold, and the more the asphalt deteriorates. 

Always do a thorough cleaning of the areas inside and around the crack. Loose debris and dirt will keep the asphalt crack repair material from adhering well, shortening its lifespan. If you use water to rinse off the area, allow it to thoroughly dry, and make sure the weather is going to be dry and warm if you’re using the melt-in asphalt crack repair. Call 254-716-8685 today for your asphalt crack repair needs in Waco and Temple, TX.