The Major Causes of Cracks in Asphalt Paving
Asphalt paving provides a convenient and aesthetically pleasing surface to your driveway. It also has the advantage of being affordable and can easily match most of the landscape and house designs. The only challenge is when cracks start to appear. For many home owners it can be pretty hard to find the cause of cracking thereby affecting maintenance plans. Here are the major causes and types of asphalt paving cracking and some tips on maintenance.
Water causes cracking on the asphalt in two levels, both the top and bottom. From the top the water finds its ways into the creases and dents and exerts pressure on the asphalt from above. At the bottom it washes away the sand and gravel base causing the top layer to shift, sink and break. In locations and situations of intense moisture, driveway heating systems help with moisture build-up.
Sunlight breaks down elements of asphalt resulting in a weak surface that breaks down when under normal use like car packing and even foot traffic. The hard sunlight dries up the surface and inner aggregate material making it brittle and easy to wear down.
Storms, snow and thawing usually cause annual shifting of the ground. These ground movements in turn affect the gravel base of asphalt causing it to shift. When this happens, the asphalt is placed under great force causing cracks and pot holes.
Even high quality asphalt mixtures suffer effects of time. With time, the effects of weather elements, ground movement and traffic take their toll. The asphalt also loses its flexibility and ability to withstand any of these causes resulting to more cracks on the surface. Even gravity easily affects an aged asphalt surface level compounding many of the overall effects of other cracking causes.
This is one of the most common forms of cracking on asphalt driveways. The main cause is traffic loading; this explains why it’s a persistent problem in traffic areas. There are several ways you can prevent crocodile cracks from happening. First, pack all the cars in the garage whenever possible. If you have heavy vehicles, always move them around routinely to redistribute the traffic load across the surface. This prevents one area from experiencing consistent weight pressure.
The first step is to ensure you get good quality asphalt hot mix and ensure the installation is professionally done. This will offer you more durability and the surface will have a longer life span. Get floor heating systems experts to ascertain whether you will need heating on your driveway and set it up during the installation.
In addition to this, it is important to respond to cracks as soon as they appear. This prevents water from getting into the cracks and causing further damage. You can use crack sealants that are made to withstand sand and moisture.
To prevent crocodile cracking, you need to build a strong base and also protect it from being washed away. You can achieve this by having stronger base layers that support the top when under heavy pressure. Create a good drainage system to avoid water seeping in the surface and the base while the run off should lead away from your driveway. For the snow, you can get modern snow melting systems to prevent a pile up of snow on the driveway. Get heated floors for your interior as well.