Should I Be Concerned About Cracks in My Pavement?

Grand Rapids Driveway Paving

Over time, it’s not uncommon for your asphalt driveway or parking lot to crack. However, there are preventative measures to limit cracking and extend the lifespan of your asphalt surface. Whether or not you should be concerned about the cracks in your asphalt depends on the type of cracking and the extent of the damage. An experienced Grand Rapids asphalt contractor will be able to advise the best course of action for asphalt repairs or even asphalt surface replacement.

What are the different types of asphalt cracks?

If the crack in your asphalt surface is less than one inch wide, you may be able to handle the repair by yourself. In general, it’s best to fix asphalt cracks before they are given the opportunity to grow. Most home improvement stores sell tubes of asphalt patch products that you can use to fill the gap. For cracks over an inch wide, you’ll need the expertise of an asphalt contractor.

Alligator cracking gets its name from the cracking pattern, which resembles an alligator’s scales. If you notice alligator cracking, you need to contact an asphalt contracting company as soon as possible to determine if asphalt surface replacement is necessary. Alligator cracking is usually a sign of a failing asphalt foundation.

Can I use asphalt sealer for filling cracks?

Asphalt sealants were designed to protect asphalt surfaces from tire scuffing, UV rays, automobile fluid leaks, and oxidation. However, they are not a good choice for fixing asphalt cracks. Asphalt sealer is meant to be applied in thin layers to the surface of the asphalt. However, sealant will flake and deteriorate when it’s applied too thickly and not allowed to cure properly.

For asphalt cracks, you’ll need a flexible patch material that will be able to move when the surrounding asphalt expands and contracts with freeze-thaw cycles. Asphalt sealant, on the other hand, is a hard material that will crumble or expose gaps when the pavement contracts and expands. When this happens, water is able to flow into the pavement’s foundation to cause significant damage.

While sealcoating is an affordable maintenance service, it should never be done in place of crack filling. Both sealcoating and crack filling have their own purposes, which can be used together to prolong the life of your asphalt surface. It’s important that you use the right project for the maintenance or repair your asphalt driveway or parking lot needs.

When should I repair asphalt cracks?

To prevent further damage to your parking lot or driveway, you’ll need to repair asphalt cracks as soon as possible. Michigan is known for its harsh freeze-thaw cycles, which cause asphalt to expand and contract. If asphalt cracking is left unchecked, water can seep into the gaps and damage your pavement’s foundation. Snow melt and spring rains can further exacerbate parking lot or driveway damage.

Contact the experts at A-1 Asphalt, Inc. today if you need asphalt repairs, residential sealcoating, asphalt paving, or any other asphalt maintenance service. Our crews have the training and experience to give you exceptional results at reasonable rates. Complete our online form to request a free estimate, or give our Grand Rapids asphalt paving contractors a call at (800) 871-4401.