Alligator cracking is exactly what it sounds like, lines of cracks in various patterns across the asphalt resembling the teeth and skin of an alligator.
It is commonly seen in commercial properties, industrial parking lots, and in roadway where heavy traffic causes stress on the asphalt surface. The weight of vehicles can damage the top layer, leading to significant destruction of the underlying base.
What Causes Alligator Cracking?
Alligator fatigue cracking is frequently the top reasons for these lines to appear. The constant strain of heavy vehicles causes the asphalt to experience tremendous strain, thereby forcing the asphalt to begin to break apart.
Cracks also form due to drainage issues. When moisture from the rain, snow, and vehicle-related fluids doesn’t properly run off of the asphalt, it can seep into the pavement, causing alligator cracks to form. This moisture can also damage the underlying foundation of the parking lot.
Improper installation of the base of the pavement can also cause alligator cracks to develop over time. The weight of vehicles and pedestrians can lead to the weak structure of the subgrade failing to support the asphalt top layer.
How to Fix Alligator Cracking
At the first signs of alligator cracks, you should contact a professional crack sealing service to prevent further damage. Any foundation damage will require work to stabilize and strengthen weak structural points.
Crack sealing is done to stop the existing cracking from expanding while preventing moisture from infiltrating the cracks and openings to the base. Sealing is not a means to an end as some portions, or the entire property, may require removal and replacement of the damaged areas.
During the repair and replacement time, it is recommended to reduce the amount of heavy traffic in the targeted area.
Reasons Not to Ignore Alligator Cracks
Alligator cracks on the surface appear to be a cosmetic issue but do lead to structural damage. Ignoring the cracking will allow the spread and development of other cracks and potholes. These can cause accidents and liabilities such as tripping and vehicle damage.
As with any landscape problems, ignoring alligator cracks will see the need for an increase in maintenance and repairs. Crack sealing will only be a “band-aid” fix for areas with severe damage. Leaving the cracking to expand will eventually lead to replacing the entire foundation and asphalt surface of the lot.
How Alligator Cracking Affects Your Parking Lot
Without having parking lot crack sealing performed, the risk of injuries and accidents climbs. Every property management team is responsible for the safety of employees, delivery people, visitors, and clients of the business.
Crack Sealing Services Offered by Sure-Seal Pavement Maintenance Inc.
For professional services of asphalt sealcoating, crack sealing, and other pavement maintenance, contact Sure-Seal Pavement Maintenance Inc. We offer a seven-year warranty on all structural work and can address alligator cracking in your parking lot. Call us at (416) 410-3705.