Alligator cracking is a serious threat to your parking lot and should be addressed as soon as it’s discovered.
Alligator cracking is one of the most common issues that affect your parking lot. It refers to cracking on asphalt paving that looks like the back of an alligator. This form of cracking occurs when longitudinal cracks connect with traverse cracks and spread over a large area on your pavement over a short period.
If ignored, alligator cracking could lead to more serious problems and costly repairs. Fortunately, the problem is not entirely unpreventable. Assuming the initial asphalt paving installation was completed correctly, alligator cracking occurs due to a lack of necessary asphalt repair and failure to protect the surface with sealer.
Causes of Alligator Cracking
There’re many causes for alligator cracking in asphalt. The most common causes include:
Poor initial installation- if the pavement base wasn’t sufficiently compacted or the contractor put a thin asphalt layer, the asphalt will eventually crack.
Heavy traffic- subjecting the parking lot to heavier traffic than it was engineered for leads to asphalt cracks. For instance, if the parking lot is meant for personal cars, parking fully loaded trucks and trailers will result in cracking.
Poor drainage- the standing moisture on your parking lot weakens the sub-base of your asphalt pavement and causing cracking on the surface.
Asphalt cracks are usually more profound than the typical surface-level damage that you see. It’s advisable to seek asphalt repairs when you note signs of cracking on your pavement. Failure to repair the cracks in time leads to the cracks interconnecting and as they deteriorate, they become potholes, which are another serious parking lot hazard.
How Alligator Cracking Affects Your Parking Lot
A well-maintained parking lot looks attractive in the eyes of customers. On the contrary, a parking lot with alligator cracks is dangerous and ugly. Customers will always park in a lot that won’t cause damages to their vehicles.
If there are no immediate alligator crack repairs, the cracks may get wider, putting the parking lot at a higher risk. Also, if it rains before repairing the cracks, water will lead to severe damages to the entire parking lot.
The Best Ways of Repairing Fatigue Cracking
If you realize that your parking lot has alligator cracks, you need to call an asphalt repair contractor before the cracks escalate. While it’s possible to repair many types of asphalt cracking using sealcoating, alligator cracks are almost impossible to repair using sealer. The parking lot repair and maintenance company performs the following actions:
1. Ascertain the cause of the cracks
The first step is to diagnose the problem to determine the best repair option. During the investigation, the expert reviews the structural makeup of your parking lot and evaluates whether or not the subsurface moisture is a contributing factor to the cracking. The contractor also determines the extent of damages and estimate a budget.
2. Assess the sub-base
Deterioration or destruction of the sub-base is a crucial cause of alligator cracks. Examining the sub-base installation is vital in ascertaining the best way to address it.
3. Eliminate damaged areas
The evaluation reveals whether asphalt cracking is localized in which case loss of subgrade support will be the cause. In this case, the contractor removes the damaged surface and subgrade and replace it with a new foundation and pavement.
In case the alligator cracks spread over the entire parking lot, overall structural failure will be ruled as the cause. The contractor will either cover the damaged pavement with HMA overlay or replaces the impacted area.
Contact ACPLM for Expert Parking Lot Repair Services
Asphalt and Concrete Parking Lot Maintenance, ACPLM, offers exceptional asphalt repair in Tampa, Florida. Our certified professionals’ prime goal is to provide exemplary parking lot maintenance services that will prolong the lifespan of your asphalt pavement.