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Why Does Asphalt Crack?

Why Does Asphalt Crack?

Here are some of the common reasons why asphalt cracks.

Asphalt has been one of the go-to materials for surface paving for a while now. It is a reliable surface that can take a lot of punishment over the years, provided it is maintained properly. That being said, asphalt can and will crack every so often. Taking care of these cracks will help ensure your asphalt surface will last as long as possible. But how do cracks form in the first place? Here are some of the common reasons why asphalt cracks.

Alligator Cracking

A common issue for parking lots, alligator cracking results from consistent traffic and vehicles being parked in one location for a long time. The constant stress of the weight of these vehicles leads to cracks. Undergoing regular sealing is one of the best ways to alleviate this stress and protect the foundational strength of the asphalt surface.


Rainwater and environmental moisture is also one of the major causes of asphalt cracking. As soon as it seeps into your pavement, moisture penetrates into the sand and gravel base and washes it away. This breakdown leads to cracks on the surface. When left untreated, the problem can accelerate and become worse. The cracks that are left on the surface make it easier for water to seep into the base later.


In the summer, the extreme heat from sunlight can cause further problems for asphalt. Moisture on the surface dries up and makes the surface brittle. This makes the surface vulnerable to cracking, even from regular vehicular or pedestrian traffic.

Deep Freezing

On the other end of the spectrum, the cold weather during the winter can also cause cracks on an asphalt surface. The main issue here is water from snowstorms or other winter weather seeping below the surface, freezing, and then thawing. The expansion and contraction of water in this way can warp the asphalt and lead to cracks and potholes.

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Atlantic Maintenance Group is a full-service landscaping company providing maintenance, design, and construction, as well as snow removal and asphalt and concrete services. We are your source for complete landscape and facility maintenance for commercial and residential properties throughout Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. We are a self-performing landscaping company, meaning we don’t hire subcontractors, and senior management is involved with every project. Our highly trained team of professionals receives constant, ongoing education on the latest industry trends, updates, and safety measures. This ensures we can deliver outstanding customer service and results to our clients, regardless of the size of your job.

This entry was posted on Friday, April 1st, 2022 at 10:48 am. Both comments and pings are currently closed.