Alligator cracking has nothing to do with the scaly-skinned reptile; it is just that this pavement failure resembles the hide of the creature mentioned. Alligatoring is an advanced stage of fatigue cracking that manifests itself when a pavement is subjected to heavy traffic loads for an extended period, especially if the sub-base is compromised in quality.
How Does Alligator Cracking Occur?
Because they are designed for different types of vehicle loading, asphalt grades for driveways, residential streets, highways, and parking lots are rather distinct. Even the most refined mix of asphalt, if left to a load of traffic after pouring, can begin to destabilize owing to faulty and uneven compaction of foundations.
The cracks and water intrusion damage the seal coating, and potholes and raveling begin to canvas the afflicted patch of road, forming a pattern of cracks that looks like the freshwater reptilian’s hide. It’s then an expensive cascade failure of asphalt pavement from there on out.
How Can These Cracks Be Fixed?
Fortunately, there are a few techniques for treating and protecting the asphalt that is developing fractures.
Injection approach: If alligator cracking hasn’t spread too far, injecting asphalt straight into the cracks can be effective. This technique is somewhat successful since small bits of material are lost as soon as the fracture develops, and the filling is no longer accessible for the intended purpose of patching.
Gator Patches: They sound so cool, don’t they? They are usually a store-bought mix made of bitumen and can be scooped and applied to alligator cracks with a squeegee, allowing for a flexible filling that relieves pressure points in the fractures. This is not a long-term solution, but it’s an excellent way to repair the damage.
Sealcoating: The surface treatment is originally intended to protect against water intrusion but can fill cracks if they are a quarter of an inch wide. Any wider, and you may need crack fillers. This technique is effectively applied when one filler material might not work with another, as asphalts can be of differing mixes.
Too Cold to Fix the Cracks?
If alligator cracking has spread to numerous areas and winters have set in, there is still hope. Instead of an injection, apply asphalt emulsion or flowable asphalt filler to repair the fractures. For the time being, the asphalt will function as a water barrier. Cold mix asphalt may be used to repair severe alligatoring too. Remember that all of the above-described techniques are temporary at the temperatures in Medford, NJ.
What Repair to Schedule from Garden State Paving
Alligator crack damage can affect an entire road section. In most cases, the ideal repair entails removing the afflicted zone and replacing it with a fresh layer from the bottom up (full-depth asphalt patch). For hot mix asphalt, the ideal temperature is above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Infrared patching may be used on localized alligator cracks repair too.
Garden State Paving & Seal Coating has been operating in Medford, NJ, to the satisfaction of many asphalt clients in the locality. We provide a broad range of asphalt paving solutions for residential and commercial projects & we’d be happy to give you a free estimate on routine maintenance or repairs.
Let’s get those crackling gators off your charming pavement!