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Why is Your Asphalt Pavement Cracking?

A freshly paved drive or parking lot gives a sleek appearance to your business or home. However, you may now notice that things are starting to look marred and cracked. What causes cracking in asphalt pavement and how can you tend to it?

Common Causes

A number of things can lead to cracking and breakage. Below are the most common causes for deterioration in pavement.

1. Water

Asphalt includes a base of gravel and sand. Forms of water, such as rain, snow, and moisture from the ground, carry away bits of this base as it enters crevices in the pavement. Plus, snow weighs down the surface of asphalt with the passing of Winter. Then, Spring and Summer rain creates pressure that causes shifts and breakage

2. Sunlight

Heat can cause the materials within asphalt to wear down, and the rays of the sun dry out your drive. Both excessive moisture and a lack of can be the main cause of why your asphalt pavement is cracking. It doesn’t help that vehicles also creates pressure on the surface of your weakened drive.

3. Ground Movement

Even if you are not located in an area frequented with earthquakes and harsh storms, the ground is continually shifting with the seasons. In fact, these minor shifts that occur yearly create a bigger impact on your drive overall compared to short-term natural disasters.

4. Age

How old your drive or parking lot may be the cause of deterioration. With time, asphalt is worn down by gravity and exposure to the other causes listed above. Flexibility in your drive decreases as it ages and it becomes firm. You may notice that the worst of the cracking is at the edges of your pavement. Any new cracks can cause more to appear due to pressure and creeping moisture.

Maintaining Your Pavement

Typically, Asphalt pavement requires little maintenance. However, there are steps you should take to make it last longer. Your parking lot or driveway could last you up to 15 years or more.

1. Tend to Cracks

When you notice cracking, it is important that you fill these fissures. As stated before, one crack can lead to many. Find products that hold up well against heat and moisture so you can prevent further breakage in those areas.

2. Contact the Paving Experts

When you see your drive is wearing out, don’t wait. Reach out to your local paving company and they can offer you many services to maintain and replace asphalt pavement. Evaluations done by your paving contractor will help identify the underlying causes of the cracking. Then, they will be able to offer you maintenance services such as seal coating or patching to prolong the life of your drive and reduce long term repair costs.

3. Avoid Affected Areas

When you notice a damaged portion of your pavement, try to keep vehicles away from those areas if possible. Sometimes, this is unavoidable, but it does keep weight and pressure from creating further cracking.

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