Why Asphalt Cracks
Winter FluctuationsIf you’ve started the new year off with concerns about your asphalt and paving, don’t be totally alarmed. This is the time of year when you will see your asphalt go through many changes due to the winter weather. Asphalt pavement is a porous paving material that expands and contracts with the temperature. This is called the freeze-thaw cycle and it is a big deal for asphalt contractors and customers. Because asphalt can absorb a certain amount of moisture, it is expected that it will expand with freezing temperatures. If you have not done the recommended maintenance on your pavement recently, there will be more opportunities for asphalt damage. These shifts can present as excessive cracking.
Drainage IssuesSeeing excessive cracking at this time of the year is often caused by unattended drainage issues. Those drainage problems are only exacerbated by the freezing temperatures. If you noticed pooling water in your driveway or parking lot during the warmer months and did not address it, the colder temperatures will only make the drainage problems worse. The increase in cracks that you are noticing can be from thawing water not having anywhere to go because it follows the path of least resistance. Weakened pavement will be an easy escape for drainage water, but it only makes the cracks larger.
Traffic OverloadingA common reason to see cracking that you did not have before is traffic overloading. Are you experiencing heavier than usual use of your commercial asphalt lot? Is your driveway being frequented more? These are reasons you could see an increase in cracks. The most common cracking, for this reason, is called fatigue cracking. According to Asphalt Magazine, “fatigue cracking is caused by load-related deterioration resulting from a weakened base course or subgrade, too little pavement thickness, overloading, or a combination of these factors”. As asphalt pavement contractors, we specifically construct your project with those loads in mind. If the use has changed over time, then your asphalt pavement may not be able to withstand the new weight or amount of traffic.
Get Cracking HelpEven if you find more cracks than ever in your asphalt this winter, you don’t have to wait for help. The Cassidy Paving team can come to inspect your residential, commercial, or industrial pavement regardless of the season. The colder seasons are the perfect time for planning repairs. We offer asphalt services and parking lot maintenance for customers across Massachusetts. Wintertime can be rough on your commercial asphalt as well as your home’s driveway, so give us a call for a free estimate today at 866-978-9788.
Filed Under: Asphalt