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Understanding And Avoiding Alligator Cracks In Your Pavement

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When you have a new commercial parking lot paved, you'll want to take steps to prevent the development of alligator cracks. These shallow, small cracks are a serious structural concern, because they can weaken the integrity of the asphalt structure. The more proactive you are from the start, the less risk you'll have of needing to replace the asphalt later. Here are some tips to help you understand alligator cracks and prevent them from developing.

How to Alligator Cracks Appear?

Alligator cracks are also widely known as fatigue cracks. They develop because the pavement weakens under the traffic that the parking area is subjected to. Sometimes, the parking area is weakened as a result of insufficient foundation development, but most of the time, it's a result of too much traffic weight in the parking area. It can also result from a lack of proper asphalt maintenance.

How Do You Prevent Alligator Cracks?

Preventing the development of alligator cracks is easier than you might think. It starts at the time of installation. Have your parking area paved by a reputable company so that you can be sure that it is structurally sound.

Once the parking area is constructed, it's time to make sure you take proper care of it. Have the paving company mark your lot with signs that clearly define the vehicle weight restrictions. That's the best way to prevent overweight vehicles in the lot.

If any other holes or cracks do appear, you'll want to fill them immediately. Talk with an asphalt contractor about what type of filler is best depending on the size of the crack. Anything that can allow water to seep into the asphalt can be problematic. Water inside the asphalt can freeze, which means it will expand. That's going to widen cracks and weaken the asphalt, leading to more extensive damage.

Finally, talk with a seal coating company, like Hals Construction, to have the surface treated once a year. The seal coating protects the top layer of the parking area from wear and cracking. The seal coating company will spread a new layer of sealant over the parking area, spreading it evenly so that it covers the entire surface. It may need to cure overnight, so plan the application for a day before the business will be closed.

With these tips, you can keep your parking lot in good condition and avoid the unsightly and worrisome alligator cracking that can spread across the whole surface.