The Ultimate Guide to Understanding Why Does Asphalt Cracks 

Asphalt driveways are a popular choice for homeowners due to their durability and aesthetic appeal. However, over time, even the best asphalt can develop cracks. Understanding why asphalt cracks and how to prevent and fix these cracks is essential for maintaining a pristine driveway. In this guide, we will explore the common causes and understand why does asphalt cracks, preventive measures, and solutions. 

Why Does Asphalt Cracks? 

There are several reasons why asphalt may crack: 

1. Natural Weather Causes 

Winter Weather: The freeze-thaw cycle is a significant cause of asphalt cracking. During winter, water seeps into the asphalt and the underlying base. When temperatures drop, the water freezes and expands, causing the asphalt to crack. This cycle repeats throughout the winter, leading to multiple cracks. 

Summer Heat: Extreme heat can also cause asphalt to crack. High temperatures cause the asphalt to expand. As the material stretches, it can create cracks due to the pressure. 

2. Ground Shifting 

Asphalt pavements are typically laid over a layer of gravel. Over time, the ground beneath can shift due to natural movements or heavy storms, leading to cracks in the asphalt. This shifting can create uneven surfaces and compromise the integrity of the driveway. 

3. Asphalt Age 

Asphalt naturally degrades over time. Older asphalt becomes less flexible and more prone to cracking. The longer the driveway has been in place, the more likely it is to develop cracks, especially after significant weather events or heavy use. 

4. Poor Installation 

Improper installation can lead to premature cracking. If the asphalt mix is not correctly prepared or the base is not adequately compacted, the driveway will be more susceptible to cracking. It is crucial to have a professional, like Advanced Asphalt of S.W. FL, Inc., handles the installation to ensure a durable driveway. 

Types of Asphalt Cracks 

Asphalt cracks come in various forms, each requiring specific attention: 

  1. Alligator Cracking: Also known as fatigue cracking, alligator cracking looks like the scales of an alligator and usually indicates structural failure in the asphalt base. This type of cracking is severe and needs immediate attention. 
  2. Linear Cracking: These cracks run parallel to the pavement and are typically caused by poor joint construction or temperature fluctuations. 
  3. Block Cracking: Large, rectangular cracks that occur in a grid pattern. This type of cracking is often due to shrinkage of the asphalt layer as it ages and loses flexibility. 
  4. Edge Cracking: These cracks appear along the outer edges of the pavement and are usually caused by a lack of support at the edges. 

Is it Normal for Asphalt to Crack? 

Yes, it is normal for asphalt to crack over time due to the factors mentioned above. However, the extent and severity of the cracking can be managed with proper maintenance and timely repairs. 

How to Fix Cracks in Asphalt 

Addressing cracks in your asphalt driveway promptly can prevent further damage and extend its lifespan. Here’s how to fix asphalt cracks: 

  1. Clean the Area: Remove any debris, dirt, or vegetation from the crack. Use a wire brush and a blower or vacuum to ensure the crack is clean.
  2. Prepare the Crack: For larger cracks, you may need to use a chisel or similar tool to widen the crack slightly and create a clean edge. This will help the filler adhere better. 
  3. Fill the Crack: Use a high-quality asphalt crack filler. For smaller cracks, a liquid crack filler will suffice. For larger cracks, you may need a more solid patching compound. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the best results. 
  4. Compact and Smooth: After filling the crack, use a trowel or similar tool to compact and smooth the filler. Ensure the filler is level with the surrounding asphalt. 
  5. Seal the Driveway: After the filler has cured, apply a seal coat to the entire driveway. This will protect the asphalt from water, UV rays, and other elements that can cause further cracking. 

How Do You Keep Asphalt from Cracking? 

Preventing cracks in your asphalt driveway involves regular maintenance and proactive measures: 

  1. Regular Seal Coating: Apply a seal coat to your driveway every 2-3 years. This protective layer helps to prevent water penetration and damage from UV rays
  2. Proper Drainage: Ensure your driveway has adequate drainage. Standing water can seep into the asphalt and cause cracks. 
  3. Prompt Repairs: Address small cracks as soon as they appear. This prevents them from becoming larger and more problematic. 
  4. Avoid Heavy Loads: Try to avoid parking heavy vehicles or equipment on your driveway for extended periods, as this can cause stress and lead to cracking. 
  5. Professional Installation and Maintenance: Hire professionals like Advanced Asphalt of S.W. FL, Inc. for installation and maintenance. Proper installation and regular professional maintenance can significantly reduce the risk of cracking. 

Professional Asphalt Services by Advanced Asphalt of S.W. FL, Inc. 

At Advanced Asphalt of S.W. FL, Inc., we offer comprehensive asphalt services to keep your driveway in top condition: 

  • Asphalt Services in Venice, FL: From installation to repair, we provide all the asphalt services you need. 
  • Seal Coating: Protect your driveway from the elements and extend its lifespan.  
  • Repair: Prompt and professional repair services for all types of asphalt issues. 
  • Signage and Striping: Enhance the safety and functionality of your driveway with professional signage and striping services. 
  • Speed Bumps: Installation of speed bumps to improve safety in residential and commercial areas. 

If you’re experiencing issues with your asphalt driveway or need professional maintenance services, contact Advanced Asphalt of S.W. FL, Inc. at (941) 289-0745. Our expert team is ready to provide top-quality service to ensure your driveway remains in excellent condition. Don’t let cracks compromise the beauty and functionality of your driveway—call us today for all your asphalt paving needs! 

By choosing Advanced Asphalt of S.W. FL, Inc., you ensure that your asphalt driveway not only looks fantastic but also operates smoothly and efficiently. Reach out to us now for a consultation or to schedule a service, and experience the difference that professional, high-quality asphalt services can make for your property. 

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