There are several types of cracks that can occur in your asphalt pavement. These cracks occur to a wide variety of reasons. Knowing why these cracks occur helps to best know how to mediate the effects of the cracks and repair the problem area.
Fatigue Cracking is also known as alligator cracking. The main reason for fatigue cracking is due to heavy traffic load on the roads. Roads should be built for the largest traffic load that it will have to carry. Excessive traffic load causes the road to crack, as it is not able to carry the weight of the load.
Longitude Cracking/ Transverse Cracking
Longitude cracking and transverse cracking are both long lines that appear in the road. Longitude cracking occurs in the direction of the traffic and lines up with the center of the road, while transverse cracking is perpendicular to the center of the road. These types of cracking are usually due to drainage and frost problems. Once water gets into the asphalt pavement it will begin to freeze and thaw and this process of freezing and thawing will create cracks. If these cracks are not taken care of then they will cause further parallel cracks. This process is also known as deterioration.
Reflective cracking occurs in the case where there is an overlay on the asphalt. When cracks are not properly fixed on the underlying pavement then the cracks will eventually migrate to the top layer. This is why it is called reflective cracking, as it is reflected in the top layer. This is why it is important to get cracks filled and taken care of prior to having an overlay put on your current asphalt.
All these types of cracking can lead to potholes if not taken care of early on. It is best to take care of your asphalt pavement when you first see cracks to prevent further cracking from happening. Call a paving contractor who can correctly assess the cause of the cracks and get the root problem fixed.