Asphalt driveways and parking lots require maintenance to stay in good condition for extended periods. Eventually, weather, regular use, and other factors cause the asphalt to crack. One particularly concerning type of crack you may have noticed is the alligator crack. In this blog, we'll talk about what alligator cracks are, why they happen, and how you can prevent them from damaging your pavement.
Alligator cracks are a type of cracking pattern on the surface of the asphalt. They appear similar to the scales of an alligator or crocodile, hence the name alligator cracks. Alligator cracks are a significant indicator of pavement failure. Over time, the crack pattern spreads, causing severe damage to the pavement and ultimately leading to the need for costly repairs.
The primary reason why alligator cracks form is because of poor quality asphalt. When asphalt is not mixed correctly or lacks structure, it can lead to cracking and damage. Another reason for alligator cracks is because of the weight of vehicles. Heavy loads like trucks or buses passing over asphalt concrete repeatedly can cause faster and deeper cracking. Additionally, the weather can play a large role in the cracking process. Hot weather leads to the expansion of the pavement, while cold weather causes shrinkage. Eventually, the cycles of expansion and contraction cause the asphalt to crack.
Repairing alligator cracks is a significant undertaking and requires specialized knowledge. Unfortunately, it's not a job that can be done DIY style. A reputable asphalt contractor will first analyze the extent of the damage by assessing the site and testing materials before beginning reconstruction work. Once the work has begun, the alligatoring area will typically get excavated and patched up with new asphalt laid on top of it. Property owners may need to pay a hefty price to have a thorough job done, which is why prevention is always better than cure.
Preventing alligator cracks is no guarantee that you won't experience cracking, but you can significantly reduce the chance that it will happen. The best way to prevent alligator cracks is to invest in quality asphalt materials and find a knowledgeable, reliable paving contractor. You can also take steps to limit heavy vehicle traffic, ensuring that your asphalt pavement lasts longer.
When it comes to maintaining a safe and attractive property, the importance of a well-maintained parking lot or driveway can't be overstated. It's never too late to hire a reputable asphalt contractor, and doing so could prevent costly repairs and save you time and money. If you're looking for an asphalt contractor in Tavares, FL, Reliable Pavement Maintenance, Inc. is the one to call. We offer reliable and comprehensive asphalt paving, repair, and maintenance services to our clients, ensuring the longevity of their properties. Reach out to our team today to request an estimate.