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Alligator Cracking in Asphalt: Causes, Risks, and Prevention

Alligator cracking on an asphalt parking lot

If you put enough pressure on asphalt, it will crack. Alligator cracking looks like a distinct pattern of cracks in your asphalt parking lot resembling the scales on an alligator, and if you have it, you must act quickly to safeguard your parking lot from further damage.

Alligator cracking is a severe issue that worsens over time and can cause larger concerns if left unaddressed. Read on to discover the risks of alligator cracking to your asphalt and how to avoid and repair this costly problem

What to Do When Your Pavement Experiences Alligator Cracking 

How to identify alligator cracking in asphalt

Over time, as asphalt deteriorates, it looks like the back of a crocodile. 

Why it’s important to address the issue

Alligator cracking—also called fatigue cracking or crocodile cracking—is one of the most serious problems your asphalt surface can cultivate. 

Your parking lot is a big asset to your business, and the sooner you solve any problems that arise, the better. If you procrastinate fixing the alligator cracking, the issue worsens. 

Common causes of alligator cracking

  • Your pavement’s age – The older your pavement, the more likely it is to have alligator cracking. 
  • Excessive load on your pavement – Overloading your asphalt may come from parking a super heavy vehicle on the pavement or from the stress of frequent traffic. 
  • Inadequate pavement thickness – Cracks are caused by issues in the supporting material under your asphalt. If it wasn’t prepared properly, it might not be thick enough. 
  • Poor drainage – Moisture is your asphalt’s enemy, and cracks can result when it doesn’t drain properly. 
  • Improper pavement installation – Laying asphalt without adequately preparing the sub-base will typically result in surface damage and fatigue cracks. That’s why it’s so important to find a reputable contractor (like us!) who will do the necessary research about your soil composition, location’s climate, and weight-bearing requirements so the asphalt is installed with a perfectly prepared sub-base. 

The risks associated with alligator cracking

  • Reduced pavement life – Your asphalt parking lot will not serve you as long as it should if you ignore the issue. 
  • Increased risk of accidents – Your staff and customers may trip and fall on your property due to crocodile cracking. 

Tips on Preventing or Reducing the Risk of Alligator Cracking

You may have cracks in your existing asphalt, but in the future, you can prevent it. Here’s how: 

Keep your parking lot well maintained

  • Crack filling – This involves placing an adhesive sealant into the cracks on the pavement surface, preventing the infiltration of moisture and other materials into the pavement. 
  • Sealcoating – Also called pavement sealing, sealcoating is the process of applying a protective coating to the asphalt to provide a layer of protection from the elements, water, oils, and UV damage.
  • Asphalt repairs – Fixing smaller issues when they arise can prevent larger, more expensive asphalt problems in the future, especially when you use a system like EverLine’s infrared asphalt repair process.

Hire a professional for regular maintenance 

  • A team of experienced professionals can keep your pavement well-maintained and repair cracking promptly. 
  • Regular parking lot maintenance lengthens the life of your pavement so you get the most value out of your investment. 

Choose the right contractor for your asphalt maintenance

Find a reputable contractor by:

  • Read online reviews and ask for referrals.
  • Find out if the company is licensed and insured. 
  • Ask how long the contractor has been in business.
  • Inquire about how they handled any complaints or issues in the past. 
  • Ask other business owners who they hire for their parking lot maintenance and repair needs and if they are happy with them. 

Extend the Lifespan of Your Pavement and Prevent the Need to Repave

Worn-out asphalt surfaces create liability risks and make it hard for people to navigate your business’s parking lot. The good news? You can eliminate ugly, hazardous asphalt damage with our premium asphalt sealant and repair services, so you get the longevity out of your pavement you deserve. 

At EverLine Coatings & Services, we understand that your pavement represents a significant asset. We’ve designed long-term solutions to help it produce the best return on investment (ROI) possible. 

Don’t procrastinate addressing your asphalt issues. Our trusted team is ready to repair, fill, and fix potholes so you, your employees, and your customers can be safe and enjoy great-looking pavement. Learn more about our asphalt repair services.

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