Alligator Cracking – Avoid It With Asphalt Repair

If you’re a business owner, the paved surfaces that your customers, clients, and patients access to reach your door may not be top-of-mind. Window washing, janitorial services, building repair, or updating the office décor may seem far more pressing than parking lot paving or asphalt repair and maintenance.

There is a laundry list of seemingly endless priorities that compete for an owner’s attention and budget. But as an asphalt maintenance company that’s seen it all, we encourage you to consider what can go wrong (and what it can cost you) if you ignore your pavement.

Regular asphalt repair and maintenance is key to safety, avoiding liability, and saving money. Sometimes you inherit a mess from a previous owner, or time gets away from you, leaving you with one or more of the pavement failures below.  

Types of Pavement Cracking:

  • Alligator: Interconnected cracking that resembles an alligator’s hide, usually caused by excessive load-bearing and made worse by freezing and thawing. Unremedied “alligators” (and other cracks) can become potholes.
  • Block: Interconnected cracking that forms rectangles caused by shrinkage when asphalt binder ages or the wrong binder doesn’t allow for pavement expansion and contraction with temperature changes.
  • Edge: Cracks that begin on a pavement’s periphery and move inward, often caused by underlying soil drying and shrinking, or by poor drainage.
  • Linear or Panel Cracking: Can occur when large areas have been paved in strips or sections and improperly constructed joints between them fail, or because of shrinkage and improper drainage.

asphalt repair

Alligator Cracking

Other Common Issues:

  • Potholes: Public Enemy #1 of motorists and the occasional unlucky pedestrian. Freezing and thawing of the ground underneath the pavement weaken it, making it break down under the burden of traffic. Cracked pavement is most vulnerable.
  • Depression and Rutting: Areas of pavement that are lower in elevation than the rest of the surface, usually caused by poor compaction at the time of installation. (True to its name, depression can make your parking area look pretty sad while it ponds with rainwater).
  • Raveling: When the top layer of asphalt is worn down and loose aggregate is exposed. This problem can be caused by a number of factors including missteps in the original asphalt paving job.

Asphalt repair and maintenance may not be quite as exciting as other upgrades, but your pavement provides a critical service and image you need to stay in business. And it performs constantly, in freezing temperatures, rain, and the scorching Texas Heat. It’s easy to take your pavement for granted until it doesn’t deliver.

Asphalt is amazingly resilient and long-wearing when properly installed and maintained. Resurfacing done in a timely fashion can help your pavement last for decades. But, road surfaces are subject to damage from water intrusion, erosion, and sub-grade movement. Expansion and contraction from freezing and thawing can cause cracks that widen with each extreme temperature fluctuation. And, constant UV exposure is no day at the beach for your parking lot. Add the damage caused by oil, gas and other caustic chemicals and the daily traffic of hundreds of vehicles weighing several thousand pounds, and the need for an effective maintenance plan becomes clear.

Don’t wait until next season to get asphalt repair done when the cracks are wider, or the ruts are deeper. If your pavement is looking neglected, your stripes are fading, or your wheel-stops are broken, you’re sending a not-so-subtle message of neglect to your patrons.

Fresh sealcoating and crack filling every two to four years can prevent more serious (and expensive) problems from cropping up while extending the life of your surface. The Texas Materials Asphalt Maintenance team is a leader in sealcoating in the Austin, Waco-Temple-Belton-Killeen, and San Antonio areas and has earned a positive reputation for its asphalt repair services throughout Central Texas. We lay new pavement for commercial projects and can address anything that ails your asphalt. We work with businesses all the time to complete our work while minimizing inconvenience.

It’s time to add pavement maintenance to your calendar. (And remember, black never goes out of style).

Contact us now and put your problems to rest.