Don't Step on the Cracks! Repairing Damaged Pavement

We all remember the childhood warning: don’t step on the crack or you’ll break your mom’s back. Thankfully, as adults, we no longer walk around bearing the burden of such uncompromising stakes and yet pavement cracks still bear unhappy consequences whenever they show up. No matter what type of pavement cracks you’re dealing with — and there are a lot of them, be they alligator cracks, joint reflection cracks, or upheaval cracks — leaving them untreated will leave yourself open to problems of a different kind, later, not the least of which is more cracking.  Let’s take a look at why pavement cracking occurs, why you should take care of it quickly, and how best to do it. Here’s a hint: You may find yourself getting familiar with our U-cart rental page

Why So Much Cracking?

Before you run off and look at concrete cart tow-behinds, let’s discuss why cracking even happens in your pavement. First of all, cracking (or any sort of distress), whether it be in concrete or asphalt, is a result of the ground’s shape losing its integrity. This can occur for a number of reasons:
  • Water damage
  • Seismic activity
  • Vehicles exceeding the weight limit
  • Harsh sun exposure
  • Freezing and thawing
Even the strictest property owner or the most conscientious politician, wrapped up in all sorts of Utah landscaping projects, can’t stop this type of pavement distress because it is largely a result of naturally occurring events.  While there are some minor things one can do to keep cracks or potholes from appearing in the first place — mainly having to do with regulating the size of vehicles that drive on your road and the types of activities that happen on the street — the best way to prevent this type of problem is to repair them as quickly as possible.

Time is of the Essence

Just like a crack that appears in your windshield, if left untreated it will continue to spider out along the entire length and width of the road. Of course, every neighborhood in America has to deal with cracking to a certain degree but the worse the street becomes, the greater of an impact it can have on the valuation of your property.  As you can imagine, problems beget problems when not taken care of quickly:
  • Raveling, a breakdown of the top layer of asphalt particles, leads to standing water.
  • Standing water softens the pavement over time, creating depressions.
  • Depressions get rolled over consistently by traffic, making potholes.
  • Potholes damage vehicles and act as a nexus for future cracking.
Of course, this series of events is just one version of the degradation that can happen to roads. The chances are that when you bring your U-cart to the worksite, you will be fixing a problem that is the result of numerous sequential issues. 

Fixing a Hole Where the Rain Gets In

We’ve mentioned how you’ll likely want to look into some kind of concrete cart tow-behind, and that’s really true. As you contemplate the repairs that need to be done to your pavement, the team at Asphalt Materials not only has the tools you’ll need but also the expertise to advise you.  Repairing cracks and holes in the concrete or asphalt is equal parts preparation of the site and having the right tools on hand:
  • Make sure the area is swept and clean of debris.
  • Clear large, loose chunks of stone away first. You may need a hammer.
  • You’ll need to clean the inside fissure of the crack or pothole, as well.
  • Having a shop-vac on hand to blow loose stones away will be very helpful.
Once the area is prepared, you’ll need to fill in the cracks. Depending on the size and depth of the damage, you’ll be able to apply a type of asphalt-emulsion filler by hand or you may need a full-blown paving machine. There are tools of every kind for you to use at Asphalt Materials to help you complete your repair project. Remember two things: 
  • Wear safety equipment at all times.
  • Don’t neglect early repairs, or else you really will hurt your back with all the added work.
Give us a call today to get your questions answered.