Pavement Cracks & Sealcoating
Asphalt pavement is the most popular choice in North America for everything from highways to driveways. Its popularity is due to its affordability, ease of maintenance, visual appeal and durability. You probably know that you should have cracks in the pavement professionally repaired as soon as they appear, but you may be wondering what caused the cracking. Although there can be many reasons for asphalt pavement to crack, here are the most likely suspects.
Pavement Cracks & Sealcoating – What Causes It And The Cure
A long-lasting, attractive pavement begins with proper installation. Asphalt pavement needs a strong, well-compacted, stable foundation. Some contractors cut corners by using light materials or skimping on the compaction. Inexperienced contractors might not install the proper depth of asphalt or compact it properly. Installation errors such as these can result in pavement that is prone to cracking relatively early in its life.
Moisture can wash away the gravel in the pavement’s foundation, allowing the surface to shift and crack. Moisture can wick upward from beneath the foundation in areas where the water table is high or areas that receive a great deal of subsurface runoff from the surrounding terrain. Rain and melted ice can also attack at the surface level, penetrating into cracks or damaged edges and destabilizing the foundation.
From an aesthetic point of view, sunlight fades the color of asphalt pavement, but the sun can also cause asphalt pavement to deteriorate and crack. Sunlight dries out the moisture in asphalt pavement that is necessary for the pavement to remain flexible. Once it has lost its moisture, asphalt pavement can begin to develop cracks from even light traffic.
Freezing and Thawing
As the seasons change, the ground will experience cycles of freezing and thawing. This causes the ground to move underneath the pavement. The ground movement shifts the foundation, and this in turn allows the pavement to move. Cracks as well as potholes can result from ground movement caused by freezing and thawing.
Weight of Traffic
When a customer asks an asphalt contractor to build a new expanse of asphalt pavement, the contractor must know the type of vehicles that the pavement will bear. The pavement surrounding the fuel pumps at a truck stop, for example, must be engineered to support heavier loads than the typical parking lot of a doctor’s office. Everything from the type of material used for the foundation to the depth of the asphalt depends on the traffic that the pavement will receive. Therefore, if a pavement is planned for passenger cars, allowing heavy trucks on the pavement can result in cracking.
Many people do not realize how far some types of trees can extend their roots. The rule of thumb is that a tree’s roots will spread horizontally for at least twice the tree’s height, and there are some species that grow roots that extend a much greater distance. If tree roots place pressure on the sides of the pavement or grow underneath it, this pressure can lead to cracks in the pavement.
Get Expert Help
To obtain the longest possible life for your asphalt pavement, you should have cracks professionally repaired. Driveway Sealing Call Frank is an asphalt maintenance and driveway sealing contractor that offers crack repair, sealcoating, parking lot striping and many other asphalt-related services to customers. We are a local business serving several cities in Fairfield and New Haven County, including Darien, Westport, Fairfield, New Canaan, and Weston. We also offer infrared asphalt repairs, which utilizes cutting-edge technology to provide a seamless patch without the need to cut out the old pavement. We have been offering superior workmanship at competitive prices since 1998. If you would like to request a free estimate, you can complete the online job quote form or call 1-800-DRIVEWAY or 1-203-378-0080.
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