Parking Lot Care: Can You Repair the Cracks in Your Lot?

If your customers complain about the small cracks in your asphalt parking lot, do something about it soon. Your parking lot could have fatigue cracks in it. Learn more about fatigue cracks, including how to repair and prevent them, below.

What Are Fatigue Cracks?

Fatigue cracks, also known as alligator cracks and web cracks, generally show up in pavement with inadequate structural support. Pavement that suffers from inadequate structural support is too weak, thin, or damp to support or carry heavy loads for long periods of time. The lack of support may occur in any of the pavement's layers, including the base.

The base of the pavement covers the soil or bare ground beneath the pavement. The base should be strong enough to support the weight placed on it by the pavement's subgrade, or second layer. However, moisture found in the soil or ground can weaken the base and make it incapable of bearing weight. The base will eventually cause small lines, or fatigue cracks, to form in the layers above it.

Fatigue cracks can cause the surface of pavement to break down over time. The broken pavement can create small defects in it called potholes. Potholes can increase in size and depth over time.

If you repair the fatigue cracks in your parking lot now, you can prevent the formation of potholes in it later.

How Do You Repair Fatigue Cracks?

You don't want to patch or seal the fatigue cracks in your pavement yourself. The small cracks in your pavement may be deeper or wider than they look. You want to have an asphalt paving contractor examine and repair the web cracks in your parking lot for you. 

A contractor may use special tools to measure the depth and width of the cracks in your pavement. If the cracks developed in the lot's subgrade and not the base, a contractor may remove and replace the damaged pieces of asphalt right away. 

If the cracks developed in the base of the pavement, a contractor may insert a drainage pipe or system beneath it. A drainage pipe or system will redirect most of the water away from your parking lot. A contractor will repair the base to complete the job.

If the base and subgrade of your parking lot are too weak to support any weight in the future, a contractor may offer to pave a new lot for you. A new lot will take time to complete, but it will keep your business and customers safe in the future.

Learn more about fatigue cracks and why your lot has them by contacting a parking lot asphalt paving repair contractor today.