Cracking is a common issue in asphalt pavement, with various shapes and causes. Cracks can result from improper mixing or application of asphalt and weather-related distress. There are several ways that a resurfacing contractor addresses cracks and restores the pavement to its optimal condition. Cracks can be classified into different types based on shape, size, and orientation.  

  • Longitudinal Cracks: These are cracks that run parallel to the direction of traffic. They can be caused by pavement shrinkage, poor joint construction, or reflective cracking from underlying layers.
  • Transverse Cracks: Perpendicular to the direction of traffic, these cracks can be caused by thermal contraction, reflective cracking, or pavement fatigue.
  • Block Cracks: These are cracks that form rectangular blocks. They can be caused by excessive shrinkage, low-penetration asphalt, or poor compaction.
  • Edge Cracks: These are cracks that develop along the edge of the pavement. They can be caused by frost or poor drainage.
  • Alligator Cracks: These are cracks that form a network of interconnecting cracks resembling an alligator's skin. They can be caused by structural failure, excessive loading, or poor drainage.

The type and severity of the crack will determine the best repair method. A resurfacing contractor will inspect the pavement and evaluate the extent of the damage. Depending on the situation, the contractor may use one or more of the following techniques to fully resurface the asphalt pavement.

  • Crack Sealing: This is a process of filling the cracks with a rubberized material that prevents water and debris from entering and causing further deterioration. Crack sealing suits non-working cracks that do not move or widen significantly.
  • Crack Filling: This is a process of filling the cracks with an asphalt emulsion that bonds with the existing pavement and provides a smooth surface. Crack filling is suitable for working cracks that move or widen due to temperature changes or traffic loads.
  • Patching: This method is a process of removing and replacing the damaged area with new material. The contractor checks the damage, cleans the area, mills the asphalt, and applies a new patch. Patching is suitable for large or deep cracks that cannot be effectively sealed or filled.
  • Overlay: This is a process of applying more asphalt and is a more extensive resurfacing technique than simply patching. The overlay is suitable for pavements with widespread cracking or other surface defects that cannot be repaired individually.

A resurfacing contractor will use specialized equipment and materials to perform these techniques and ensure a high-quality result. By addressing cracks promptly and professionally, a resurfacing contractor can extend the life of the pavement and improve its appearance and performance.

Contact a local contractor to learn more about the resurfacing process.