Asphalt cracking, sometimes known as fatigue cracking, is one of the most common ways that asphalt pavement can deteriorate over time. The cracking eventually starts to look like an alligator or crocodile’s skin. The alligator cracking is one of the most serious problems that an asphalt surface can develop. The following is some information you need to know about cracking and how to repair it…

Causes for Asphalt Cracking

Most often the alligator cracking happens when the pavement is carrying burdens that the supporting structure can not handle. Which means the asphalt damage is almost always caused by problems with the underlying layers. When you put pressure on asphalt it will crack.

The Importance of the Sub Base

A reputable contractor will be able to discuss your specific project needs and provide an expert opinion on what is needed for the project or repair. They can tell you what a good base for asphalt driveway would be. In many cases a 4-inch thickness may be adequate, but 5 or even 6 inches of full-depth asphalt will achieve a stronger, more stable driveway under a wider range of climate and loads. As an option, some contractors use 6 to 8 inches of compacted aggregate, or gravel, as a base for 3 inches of asphalt pavement. The preparations needed for an asphalt pavement surface to support passenger cars on a driveway are totally different from what is needed to hold heavy loads, like cargo trailer, on a parking lot surface. Once alligator cracking begins, it will not stop without proper asphalt repair.

How to Treat Asphalt Cracking

As a general rule, whenever you see any cracks appear in your asphalt, the first thing you should do get a professional to apply crack filler or seal coating, weather permitting, to try to halt further spread of damage. We also strongly advise keeping traffic away from the affected area, if at all possible. Every vehicle passing over the weakened area will damage the asphalt surface further. You must remember these are only stop-gap measures. The problem is with the underlying area so digging down and strengthening the asphalt’s base is the only long term fix.

How To Repair of Asphalt Cracking

Any area with alligator cracks should be saw cut and removed and the base should be inspected and corrected depending on what is found. It would be best to let a reputable paving contractor to handle the repair. They would inspect your asphalt surface and find the cause of the cracking problem. They will then present you with options that work within your budget. To best determine the scope of required repairs, a contractor should evaluate the damage and diagnose the best repair options. Typically, asphalt cracking is caused by damage or deterioration of the asphalt sub base but sometime just a portion of the area can be repaired. However in some cases, the best and most cost effective choice is to replace the entire surface. A new asphalt surface will often provide 20 plus years of durability and you will not have to worry about your driveway or parking lot for a long time.

Waiting To Repair Cracking Asphalt Will Just Make It Worse

Unfortunately, ignoring the problem won’t make it go away and it can effect the safety of your business, your employees, your customers or your family. First impressions are very important to make sure to get fix the problem as soon as you can.

Contact us (513-931-7283) for a free consultation!


Arrow Blacktop offers reliable asphalt and paving services to commercial and residential customers in Greater Cincinnati. We work to exceed expectations on every job we undertake. Whether your project is small or large in scale, Arrow Blacktop can help!
>> Learn More