Asphalt is a great material for residential driveways. An asphalt driveway installed correctly will look great, be affordable, and remain reliable over time. Although asphalt is a durable material, it is not designed to be impervious to all types of damage.
Cracks are a common problem homeowners face when maintaining their asphalt driveways. Here are three types of driveway cracks that should always be quickly repaired by a professional to avoid serious asphalt damage over time.
1. Alligator Cracks
Alligator cracks typically extend over large portions of an asphalt surface. These cracks resemble the scales on an alligator, which is where they get their name.
It's important that you never ignore alligator cracking. These unique cracks are an indication that there is a more significant underlying problem affecting your driveway.
Poor drainage is usually to blame for alligator cracks. When moisture can't drain away from the surface of your driveway properly, it accumulates and weakens the base structure of the asphalt. The weakened areas crack, leaving your asphalt susceptible to even more moisture damage.
A paving professional can address drainage issues and patch cracked areas to restore the aesthetic of your driveway.
2. Block Cracks
Any large, interconnected rectangular cracks that create a block-like design on the surface of your driveway are known as block cracks. Block cracks usually stem from the deterioration of the binding agent used in your asphalt mixture.
The binding agent in asphalt is responsible for allowing the pavement to expand and contract as ambient air temperatures fluctuate. As these binding materials age, they no longer expand and contract properly.
If you are able to spot block cracks early, you can have a paving professional fill in these cracks to help extend the life of your driveway.
3. Ice Cracks
Moisture has the potential to wreak havoc on the structural integrity of your asphalt driveway. Water that seeps into the smallest cavity in the pavement can freeze and thaw many times. This freezing and thawing process causes the cavity to expand, which creates cracks in the surface of your driveway.
Ice cracks tend to spread quickly. They can pose a risk to the overall stability of your driveway if they are not addressed in a timely manner.
Many skilled paving contractors such as Advance Asphalt can utilize a rubberized asphalt to fill in ice cracks. The rubberized asphalt is flexible enough to maintain a watertight seal as the rest of your driveway expands and contracts in response to temperature changes.