8 Types of Asphalt Cracks – And What to Do about Them (Part 1)

by | Mar 30, 2018

Properly installed and maintained, asphalt provides a smooth and durable surface perfect for years of daily use. But given enough age, wear, and weathering even the best laid asphalt will eventually develop one of a number of different cracks, and only by understanding each type of cracking and its cause can the problem be securely repaired to prolong the pavement’s lifespan.

1. Transverse Cracks
These cracks run at roughly 90 degrees perpendicular to the direction in which the pavement was laid, and are often the first cracks to appear as the asphalt ages. Fortunately, transverse cracks aren’t usually load-related and are instead caused by temperature changes in the material.

Transverse cracks under ½” wide repaired with crack seal keep out moisture and stop the crack from spreading, while unusually numerous or severe transverse cracks are treated with the removal of a section of the pavement layer, which is replaced with an overlay.

2. Longitudinal Cracks
Longitudinal cracks run parallel to the direction the pavement was laid, and also aren’t usually load related—although if the pavement is heavily worn longitudinal cracking may signal more problems to follow. One of several issues may be triggering the problem, including poor joint construction, hardening of the asphalt, or long term temperature shifts.

As with transverse cracks, low severity longitudinal cracks are treated with crack seal while severe cracking requires the removal of some of the pavement layer, which is replaced with an overlay.

3. Edge Cracks
Edge cracks develop between the edge of the pavement and concrete curbs or soil. They often come from seasonal freeze/thaw cycling, which widens and deepens the cracks over time, but are more common when the pavement edge hasn’t been properly supported or in cases where the pavement edges regularly handle heavy loads.

Edge cracking requires some case-by-case investigation, and treatment may involve improving the drainage in the area and filling the cracks with crack seal.

4. Seam Cracks
Poor paving practices can cause cracks that grow along the seams between pavement joints, allowing water and ice into the asphalt to cause further damage and shorten the surface lifespan. Seam cracks should be filled on a regular basis to preserve the material, and sealed if they begin to get worse or develop signs of fatigue cracking.

Read part 2 HERE!

Asphalt that looks great and lasts longer.

Faded and cracked asphalt creates a bad impression. And knowing the best way to fix it can be confusing.

Stripe A Lot knows how to get your asphalt to look great and last longer.

Asphalt that looks great and lasts longer.

Faded and cracked asphalt creates a bad impression. And knowing the best way to fix it can be confusing. Stripe A Lot knows how to get your asphalt to look great and last longer.

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Faded and cracked asphalt creates a bad impression. And knowing the best way to fix it can be confusing. Stripe A Lot knows how to get your asphalt to look great and last longer.

Stripe A Lot Asphalt Maintenance LLC
10728 Paw Paw Dr, Holland, MI 49424
(616) 772-2559

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