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It starts innocently enough, with longitudinal cracks that appear on your asphalt surface. You may think it’s not a huge concern – all asphalt cracks eventually, right? Then the cracks grow and keep growing. Transverse cracks appear that connect the parallel cracks, and a distinctive pattern emerges. Before you know it, your parking lot or roadway is covered in a patchwork of cracks, and suddenly it doesn’t seem like a small problem anymore. If you’ve experienced this, you are a victim of alligator cracking.

Do you have alligator cracking in the asphalt at your business? Contact us for a free consultation to discuss alligator cracking repair in Austin with one of our asphalt repair experts.

What Is Alligator Cracking?

Also known as “spider cracking” or “crocodile cracking,” alligator cracking is a form of asphalt cracking that worsens with time and leads to bigger issues if ignored. Alligator cracking forms a characteristic pattern on asphalt that looks like the scales on an alligator’s back. It is not a regular effect of age or wear and tear; instead, it’s an indication of structural failure. It may occur in a small area, affecting just a parking space or two, or it may extend across your entire asphalt surface. No matter how small it starts, alligator cracking is a serious problem that Austin business owners should not ignore.

How Can Alligator Cracking Impact Your Austin Business?

At first, alligator cracking will be nothing more than an eyesore that detracts from the presentation of your business. It will make your parking lot or roadway look old and neglected, which might give your customers the impression that you neglect other aspects of business as well. As the alligator cracking becomes more severe, the cracks will connect to create small sections of pavement, some of which will break off as vehicles drive over them. Each uncovered chunk will grow bigger as more vehicles pass over it and as rain and ice enter the unprotected areas, causing further deterioration. With time, your asphalt surface will be rough and riddled with potholes, which cause an unpleasant ride and vehicle damage. By then, your customers will really want to avoid it!

What Is Block Cracking?

Block cracking is easy to identify by the cracks that form large, interconnected squares or rectangles. The patchwork of blocks may range in size from about one square foot to 100 square feet. Block cracking that occurs on a larger scale is often called longitudinal or transverse cracking.

How Block Cracking Can Impact Your Business

  • Block cracking is unattractive: If the parking lot is cracked and deteriorating, your business will appear older and more rundown. Improve your reputation by repairing block cracks as soon as they appear.
  • Block cracking can be hazardous: Ignoring block cracks can lead to loose debris and standing water. If cars drive over wet, cracked pavement at high speeds, they could lose skid resistance and hydroplane.
  • Block cracking can decrease property value: Due to the unsightly and potentially hazardous nature of block cracking, failure to repair the cracks could lower your property value.

Don’t allow block cracking to harm your business’s value and reputation! Contact Integrity Paving & Coatings to schedule block crack repair in Austin, TX.

What Causes Alligator/Block Cracking in Asphalt?

Alligator and block cracking is not a normal deterioration of asphalt. Alligator and block cracks can occur as the result of a few different types of structural failure:

  1. Traffic is too heavy – Your traffic load may exceed the tolerances for which the pavement was engineered.
  2. A faulty sub-base – If the subgrade was not properly prepared, it might not be thick enough or it might not allow for adequate drainage.
  3. Poor drainage – This will allow water to erode the base, leading to lack of support for the asphalt surface.
  4. Stripping – Separation between the asphalt and the base layer.
  5. Raveling – The roughening and deterioration of the asphalt surface, where the materials in the asphalt are actually dislodged to create a gravelly surface. This leaves your asphalt without protection and allows moisture to enter it.

What Can You Do About Alligator/Block Cracking?

You should take certain steps as soon as you notice alligator/block cracking, preferably at the first sign of the longitudinal cracks. Unfortunately, most measures are temporary; because alligator/block cracking is caused by structural issues underneath the asphalt, you cannot fix it with surface-level remedies. You need a professional asphalt contractor in Austin to dig into your asphalt and diagnose the source of the alligator/block cracking. If the cracking is only in a small, localized area, your asphalt contractor may be able to remove just those damaged areas, install a new sub-base, and lay new asphalt. If the cracking is widespread, the entire surface may need to be replaced, with a proper sub-base laid beneath it. Replacing the entire surface is more cost-effective than continuing to battle the ongoing effects of faulty asphalt construction for years.

Don’t Wait to Deal With Alligator Cracking Repair at Your Austin Business

The key to dealing with block cracking is to act quickly. It is always a symptom of structural issues underneath the asphalt, so it will only get worse if neglected. The sooner you address your alligator cracking, the better the outcome will be. The longer you neglect it, the more the damage will spread, leading to a substantially higher repair cost in the end.

Don’t wait – call Integrity Paving & Coating at the first sign of alligator cracking in your parking lot or roadway. We are quality-driven professionals with the expertise to do the job right the first time. Our experienced technicians will evaluate your asphalt surface and assess the sub-base to determine the root cause of the problem. We’ll then give you an honest assessment of the extent of the damage and the best course of action to repair it. After we expertly repair your asphalt, you won’t have to worry about dealing with alligator cracking down the road!

If you notice signs of alligator or block cracking on the asphalt coating at your business, it’s time for a quick, free consultation with Integrity to discuss alligator cracking repair in Austin. We can help assess the damage and come up with a solution that fits your asphalt conditions, your business, and your budget. Contact us online or call us at (512) 853-9009 today!

FAQs about Alligator and Block Cracking Repairs

If you’re here for quick answers, we’ve boiled the main points about alligator/block cracking down to these frequently asked questions:

What causes block cracking?

While many types of asphalt cracks are load-dependent, block cracking tends to occur where traffic is minimal, such as parking lanes, alleys, and rarely used rear entrances. The primary cause of block cracking is the asphalt binder’s inability to expand and contract with fluctuating temperatures. This may be due to age-related hardening or poor choice of asphalt binder to begin with.

How are block cracks repaired?

The proper strategy depends on the severity and extent of the cracking. If treated early, sealing small cracks (one-half-inch wide or less) can prevent moisture infiltration. Keep up with block crack preventative maintenance, and you’ll enjoy years of satisfactory asphalt service.

However, if you wait too long to perform the repair, the block cracks may widen or start raveling at the edges. When this happens, the only repair option is to have the cracked pavement layer removed and replaced with an overlay.

How do you prevent asphalt from cracking?

Seal coating is one of the best preventative measures you can perform. Reapply this coating every two to three years to stop cracks before they start. Then, if you notice block cracks or other deterioration developing, have them sealed immediately. For the best results, work with a knowledgeable block cracking repair company in Austin that can get the job done right the first time around.

What causes alligator cracking in asphalt?

Alligator cracking is caused by structural issues underneath the asphalt. It could be that the traffic load is too heavy for the design, the subgrade was not properly prepared during construction, or because your asphalt surface doesn’t have adequate drainage. It can also be caused by stripping or raveling, both of which allow water to enter your asphalt and erode its support.

How do you fix alligator cracks in asphalt?

Alligator cracks cannot be fixed with surface remedies. An experienced asphalt contractor in Austin will need to dig under the asphalt to determine what is causing the structural failure. Once the root cause has been determined, you can either fix the localized areas where it is occurring (if possible), or tear up the entire surface, rebuild the base properly, and lay a new asphalt surface.

What is the best asphalt crack repair?

In the case of alligator cracking, the best repair is to pull up the entire affected area and start over. However, seal coating can be applied to the cracks to slow the spread of damage and buy time to implement a real solution.

Schedule your free, on-site consultation and estimate today! Call Integrity Paving & Coatings at (512) 853-9009 or get your quote online.

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