From snow to ice to rain to natural wear and tear, there are all sorts of different pavement defects including alligator cracks, block cracks, and transverse cracks. Learning how to correctly identify what type of pavement defect you have is the first step in fixing it.
1. Alligator Cracks
Alligator cracking is the result of structural failure. This failure can occur because the base, subgrade, or surface is weak. Unfortunately, an alligator crack is not an easy fix. As this means structure failure is occurring, a full-depth patch would be necessary to fix the problem. Basically, this means you would need to pay to have the pavement removed and replaced as structural failure is not a small problem that you can push under the rug.
2. Block Cracks
A block crack looks like a bunch of big connected rectangles. This type of crack tends to be caused by shrinkage of the pavement, which keeps the binder in the asphalt from expanding properly. This problem emerges when the pavement mix was placed when it was too dry. If the cracks are not severe, they can be sealed. If the cracks are deep and severe, it is better to remove the layer of payment that is cracked and replace it.
3. Transverse Cracks
Transverse cracks are single cracks that run perpendicular to the centerline of the pavement. This problem emerges when there are other cracks in deeper layers of the payment, frequent daily temperature changes occur, or the mix was improperly placed. Just like block cracks, less severe transverse cracks can also be sealed. However, it is better to remove the layer of pavement and replace it if the cracks run deep.
4. Slippage Cracks
A slippage crack is a crescent-shaped crack in the surface layer of the pavement. This occurs because there was a lack of bonding between the different layers of the pavement and usually happens when a tack coat was not properly utilized during construction. Any pavement with slippage cracks will need to be removed and replaced.
As you can see, there are all sorts of different pavement defects which can occur. Unfortunately, these four different types of cracks tend to be the result of poorly placed pavement. With the exception of a few defects, whether a crack can be sealed or needs to be replaced is a decision which should be made based on how deep the cracks run into the pavement. Consider contacting a contractor about crack filling as soon as they appear in your pavement.