2 Ways Alligator Cracks Cause Further Damage To Your Asphalt Parking Lot

Posted on: 8 May 2019

While walking through your business's parking lot, you may have noticed a few areas where small cracks have started to form in a criss-cross pattern. These alligator cracks, so named because they resemble alligator skin, may at first glance seem to be superficial and harmless overall. However, there are a couple of ways that these cracks can cause further damage to your asphalt parking lot.

1.  Allow Water to Seep Under the Pavement

When your parking lot was new, the asphalt material stayed packed together and was protected by a sealcoat. This combination helped to keep water from seeping underneath the pavement and infiltrating the underlying material or soil.

However, even a small crack in the asphalt and sealcoat will allow water to penetrate the parking lot. If you have multiple alligator cracks, the amount of water seepage penetration increases.

Once water gets underneath your parking lot, it starts to eat away at the bottom layers of asphalt. The water also erodes the soil underneath the pavement, which weakens the lot's support. Eventually, the area under the already damaged section of pavement will start to cave, creating more cracks that will compound the water issue even further.

2.  Increase the Development of Potholes

Not only do alligator cracks cause water damage to your parking lot, but they can also increase the likelihood that potholes will develop in the pavement. The develop of the potholes start with water penetration.

As the soil beneath the cracked areas deteriorates and causes caving of the pavement, the cracks will become larger, and the pieces between them will shift. As these pieces of asphalt shift, they will no longer rest tightly on the parking lot. Eventually, they will be come loose enough that you can simply pry them up with your fingers.

The condition of the alligator cracked areas will only become worse over time as more water infiltrates the pavement and vehicles drive over and put pressure on it. If you do not have the problem taken care of, you will wind up with large potholes in your parking lot that mar its appearance and make it more difficult for people to drive on.

If you find alligator cracks in your parking lot, you run the risk of causing even more damage to the pavement if you do nothing about them. Contact a contractor who offers asphalt paving services to have them assess the damage. By contacting a company like Phend & Brown, you can discuss your options for patching or repaving over the cracks so that they do not continue to grow.