Cracked Pavement Doesn’t Mean What You Might Think


May 22, 2018

pavement cracks
Identifying cracks and sealing them quickly saves thousands!

Eyeglasses, drinkware, or a smartphone screen. All of these delicate items have limited functionality if they suffer a crack. Asphalt pavement, on the other hand, can crack and still endure.

A newly installed asphalt pavement is flexible; but, over time, it will become more rigid and susceptible to cracking due to heavy traffic loads, harsh weather conditions, oil leaks, and other irritants. But, a crack doesn’t signal the end. Rather, you should look at cracked pavement as an opportunity.


Identifying pavement cracks and sealing them in a timely manner is the most cost-effective preventative maintenance procedure. That’s because a sealed crack is protected from water penetration. If left untreated, water is free to permeate the surface through the crack and erode the base or sub-base. Furthermore, open cracks can quickly widen and spread with the repeated stress of traffic and weather conditions such as freeze/thaw cycles. When this occurs, more costly structural repairs will be necessary.


There are many different crack types, easily identified by their pattern. For example, longitudinal cracks appear in a long, straight line. Block cracks appear in a square shape, intersecting at right angles. But, regardless of type, to be a good candidate for crack sealing, the cracks should be isolated and measure ¼-inch to 1-inch in width. If cracks are widespread and measure greater than one inch, asphalt removal and replacement may be necessary.


Consider this scenario—a timely application of crack sealant (at $0.75/LF) to a 150 LF longitudinal crack, would cost $112.50. (That’s probably less than you would spend to repair a cracked smart phone.) However, if you were to defer crack sealing for just a few years, a longitudinal crack would widen and fracture causing alligator-type cracking in the surrounding pavement. To repair this would require 900 SF of asphalt removal and replacement for a total of $3,600.

Hundreds or thousands? We’ll help you make the easy choice. So, don’t stress when your pavement cracks, call Let’s Pave and we’ll get crack’in!


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