What Is Alligator Cracking In Asphalt Driveways And How Can I Fix It?

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Heavy cracks often appear in asphalt, a problem which can significantly decrease the curb value of your home. One of the most destructive types of these cracks is alligator cracking. Identifying this problem and taking steps to remedy it can help you get your driveway looking as good as new.

Identifying Alligator Cracking

The first thing you need to do is identify whether or your asphalt is truly suffering from alligator cracks. After all, there are multiple types of asphalt cracks and each of them should be assessed and repaired in slightly different ways.

Alligator cracks look a lot like the skin of an alligator: they generally form a series of connected cracks that form small polygons of similar shape and size. Generally, these polygons are less than a foot or so wide. Alligator cracks are common in parking lots and other areas of asphalt where vehicles regularly drive.

Alligator cracking is so destructive because it is so widespread across the surface of your asphalt. Common causes of alligator cracks include:

  • Poor construction
  • Weather conditions (i.e. extreme cold or heat)
  • Wet conditions under the asphalt weakening the soil
  • More weight added to the asphalt than it was designed to hold

Killing the Weeds Between Cracks

After you've identified alligator cracks, you need to get ready to repair them. First of all, you need to kill any weeds or grass that may have grown in between the cracks. They will push the asphalt slabs apart and can cause even more extreme damage.

Start by hand picking any weeds or grass that you can and throwing them away. Now, spray some vinegar on the weeds to dissolve the plants and kill their roots. After you've applied the vinegar, pour boiling water in the cracks to further damage the structure of the plants.

If that doesn't do the trick in a few days, add a chemical herbicide with a spray applicator. Once these plant growths have disappeared, you can work on repairing the alligator cracks.

Sealing the Cracks

Generally speaking, cracks in asphalt need to be sealed sooner, rather than later. However, if you've developed alligator cracks, it's already a little too late to eliminate the damage. Some people may prefer simply removing the cracked sections and repaving it with new asphalt.

However, fixing alligator cracks can help them from spreading and save you money on a new paving job. Start by cleaning off the surface of the alligator cracks with a broom and then measuring the width of the cracks. If they are no larger than one-eighth to one-half an inch, you can simply use an asphalt-emulsion crack filler.

Fill a caulk gun with this substance and carefully spread it throughout each of the cracks. Add a little more than necessary to overflow the crack. Even the top with a putty knife and remove any excess. Let the filler dry for at least a day or two.

Cracks larger than one-half an inch need to be inspected for depth. If it's deeper than two inches, fill it up to the two inch mark with crushed gravel. Push this gravel down with a piece of wood and then fill the crack with blacktop. Level the blacktop off with a putty knife, and let it dry for a week or two.

Implementing these simple repairs can help add years of life to your asphalt driveway and eliminate the spread of alligator cracks. However, if you are getting ready to sell your home and your alligator cracks continue to grow, it might be best to call a paving company like R Williams Paving LLC.

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16 September 2015

Making That Concrete Special

Your driveway serves a lot of purposes, but is looks one of them? Although you might not think that it is possible to beautify that boring, gray concrete, the fact of the matter is that with concrete contractors, anything is possible. In addition to dying your cement and adding interesting details, concrete contractors can also cut in interesting etchings or add a cobblestone border around your existing space. The goal of my blog is to inform the general public about all of the incredible services paving contractors offer these days. By reading through this blog, you might be able to make your driveway the focal point of your yard.