Asphalt requires maintenance and repair over time as the asphalt can develop a number of different problems. Cracks are a common problem, especially “block cracking.” Block cracking can be repaired if it is noticed early enough. Prolonged neglect may require a need for the asphalt to be replaced. Andersen Asphalt & Striping will go in more detail about block cracking, what it is and some of the repair options.
What is Block Cracking?
Block cracking is often identified by the combination of longitudinal and transverse pavement cracks. Block cracking will break up into small or large chunks. The size of the crack can range from a foot to several feet in diameter. The crack may appear shallow in the beginning but it will deepen over time. Often moisture will cause the cracks to get worse and even grass and other plants will grow in between the cracks. Both moisture and plants will cause the asphalt to eventually degrade if it is not corrected.
What Causes Asphalt Block Cracking?
It is a common misconception that heavy traffic will cause asphalt block cracking. Weight, high traffic or even time isn’t what will cause block cracking. Instead, it is due to the asphalt’s binding agents. The binding agents use oil based glues that are designed to hold the asphalt structure together and the chemical level stable. When the binding agents are compromised the pavement will begin to contract. As the temperature changes the asphalt cannot properly flex which will cause the asphalt to snap. As the binding agent weakens, often through extreme cold or frequent moisture, the exposure will cause the asphalt to crack. However, there are many different types of binders and each has their own design and uses. If the wrong binder was used, even new asphalt will develop block cracks.
Can a Cracked Asphalt Driveway Be Repaired?
When block cracking occurs, there is a window of opportunity where the asphalt can be repaired. The key of being able to repair block cracking is the timing. It is important to always monitor the asphalt and when cracks first appear, seek out an asphalt repair service. If the cracks are small enough, less than one half of an inch, a sealant can be used to prevent further raveling. The sealant is also important to keep the subgrade dry and free from moisture. By catching cracks early enough, it can extend the life of the pavement. If the cracks are not attended to and if they become bigger than the one half of an inch, often the stability of asphalt becomes compromised and the asphalt will need either an overlay or to be replaced altogether. Overlaying the asphalt is one of the better outcomes and is cheaper than asphalt replacement. As long as the sublayer isn’t too badly damaged, then overlaying is possible. If the underlayer has been weakened, then prepare for asphalt replacements.
Asphalt Pavement & Parking Lot Striping, Resealing & More in Reno, Elko, Henderson, North LV, Paradise, Spring Valley, Sunrise Manor, Las Vegas, NV | State of Nevada
Major asphalt repair and replacement is expensive and takes a lot of time. It is better to seek asphalt repair when cracks first begin to develop. When asphalt begins to develop block cracking or other damages, contact Andersen Asphalt & Striping LLC.