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Best Asphalt Crack Repair for Pavement Longevity

Cracks in asphalt pavement are inevitable. However, even small cracks can have serious consequences if left unresolved. These seemingly minor imperfections can quickly escalate, leading to asphalt deterioration, compromised structural integrity, and potential safety hazards in your parking lot. Fixing cracks promptly can extend the longevity of your asphalt pavement and ensure a smooth, safe surface for all who enter your parking lot.

Fortunately, various crack repair methods fix these cracks. Each method is designed to address specific types of cracks that vary in severity. From simple crack sealing to more extensive removal and patching techniques, the right approach can effectively mitigate further damage. Let’s look at the different types and their repair methods so you can find the best asphalt crack repair for your parking lot.

Types of Asphalt Cracks

To properly fix cracks in asphalt, you first need to know what types of cracks you’re dealing with. A professional paving company will help you identify these types and then determine the best plan of action.

Hairline or Surface Cracks

Hairline or surface cracks are thin, shallow cracks that appear on the surface of the asphalt. They can be caused by weathering, aging, or minor surface movements. While these cracks may seem insignificant initially, they can allow water penetration which leads to further deterioration and more extensive damage over time.

Hairline cracks can be treated with sealcoating. The sealcoat penetrates inside the crack and blocks out further water penetration for a longer period of time.

Longitudinal Cracks

Long, pronounced cracks that are less than one inch wide are known as longitudinal cracks, which are caused by heavy loads stopping on pavement areas of asphalt joints. If thin enough, longitudinal cracks can often be repaired with crack fill. These longitudinal cracks must be crack filled.

Fatigue Cracking (Alligator Cracks)

Also known as “alligator” cracks or web cracks due to the interconnected pattern resembling alligator skin, fatigue cracks are typically caused by poor base compaction, excessive traffic loads, age-related deterioration, or a combination of these factors. Ignoring fatigue cracking can lead to structural failure, potholes, and potential safety hazards in your pavement.

While certain types of asphalt cracks can be filled, fatigue cracks often require removal and patching to restore the structural integrity.

Block Cracking

Block cracks are large, interconnected, rectangular “chunks” cracked in the pavement surface. They typically develop from extreme temperatures and a lack of moisture which cause excessive expansion and contraction of the asphalt binding. Over time, this results in a loss of flexibility of the asphalt binding.

Edge Cracking

Edge cracks, as the name suggests, occur along the edges of the asphalt pavement—usually 1-2 feet apart from each other. They can be caused by poor drainage, base failure, or lack of proper shoulder support. Edge cracks can allow water infiltration, leading to further deterioration and potential undermining of the pavement structure.

Transverse Cracking

Transverse cracking runs perpendicular to the centerline of an asphalt pavement. These cracks are often caused by thermal expansion and contraction of the asphalt due to temperature changes and often lead to shrinkage and cracking of the asphalt surface layer.

Reflection Cracking

Reflection cracks form over underlying layers of the pavement, such as joints or cracks in asphalt base layers. These cracks reflect through the new asphalt overlay over time due to movement or stress at the original cracks or joints. Reflection cracking allows water infiltration, leading to further deterioration of the pavement structure.

Slippage Cracks

Slippage cracks are round or crescent-shaped cracks that form due to poor bonding between asphalt layers. A movement of asphalt layers can also cause them due to the pavement mixture containing too much sand and pressure from hard braking and turning of vehicles.

Asphalt Crack Repair Methods

Depending on the type and severity of the cracks, different repair methods are used to restore the integrity of the asphalt pavement.

Crack Sealing With Sealcoat Material

Crack sealing involves applying a sealant material into the crack to prevent water infiltration and further deterioration. This process is suitable for hairline and sealed cracks. Cracks are small imperfections that have not gone through the asphalt to the subgrade. Because they’re surface cracks, sealcoating seals these up.

Crack Filling

Crack filling is a more robust repair method suitable for wider cracks. It involves filling the cracks with specialized asphalt-based or polymer-modified crack fillers. These materials are designed to adhere to the crack walls and provide a flexible, durable repair. Crack filling is an effective solution for cracks that are through the pavement and at least ¼ inch wide.

Removal and Patching

For larger, deeper cracks or severe alligator cracking, removal, and patching may be the best solution. This process involves removing the damaged asphalt section and replacing it with new asphalt material. Proper compaction and bonding techniques are essential to achieve a functional and long-lasting repair.

What is the Best Asphalt Crack Repair Method?

The best crack repair method depends on your parking lot and its current condition.

It’s important to work with a professional paving contractor so they can properly identify the issues, determine a plan of action, provide a quote, and deliver effective results. Proper crack identification and assessment are first essential to determine the most suitable approach. The

When considering crack repair options, your paving contractor looks for several things:

    1. Crack Type and Severity: The type of crack (hairline, alligator, edge, etc.) and its severity will dictate the most appropriate repair method. Accurate identification is key to avoiding ineffective or temporary solutions.
    2. Budget: Different repair methods vary in cost. It’s important to balance the budget with the desired longevity of the repair. While some methods may have a higher upfront cost, they may provide a more durable and long-lasting solution in the long run.
    3. Desired Lifespan: Consider the expected lifespan of the repair and the overall condition of the asphalt pavement. More extensive repairs may be warranted if the pavement is nearing the end of its service life.
    4. Traffic Volume and Weight Loads: Areas with higher traffic volumes or heavy vehicle loads may require more robust repair methods to withstand the additional stress.
  • Realistic Outcomes: Note that trying to fix every crack is not cost-efficient. Talk with a Paving Professional to discuss the realistic outcomes of the type of project your pavement needs.

Experienced contractors also have access to high-quality materials and equipment, ensuring that the repairs are performed correctly and to industry standards, maximizing their longevity and effectiveness.

Maintain Your Pavement to Prevent Asphalt Cracks

While crack repair is essential, regular pavement maintenance is key to preventing future cracking and extending the lifespan of your asphalt surface. Preventative measures such as sealcoating and resurfacing can protect against weathering, oxidation, and water infiltration, minimizing the risk of crack formation.

Don’t let cracks compromise the integrity and appearance of your asphalt pavement. Contact Paving Pros today to ask about professional asphalt crack repair services. Our team of experts will assess your pavement’s condition, recommend the most appropriate repair methods, and execute the work with precision and quality.

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