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What to Do if Your Pavement Starts to Crack

What to Do if Your Pavement Starts to Crack September 10, 2019

What to Do if Your Pavement Starts to Crack

Working with the best central Illinois paving contractors Champaign, Mahomet, and Monticello have to offer requires that you fully understand how to diagnose the various types of cracks that can occur on your asphalt paving. The following guide will give you an understanding of what to do when you see these cracks – no matter what – and how you can ensure they don’t come back.

Track the Problem as It Develops

Once you start seeing any cracking on your pavement – whether alligator or longitudinal issues – you need to track the problem and see where it originates. This step may seem very hard, but it is something that just about any homeowner can do if they are mindful about their pavement. For example, you can follow the lines of the pavement crack to get an idea of where they originate.

This process requires you to spend some time thoroughly examining the surface of your pavement and getting down on your hands and knees. Though this may seem somewhat time-consuming, it is something that shouldn’t take more than an hour. You may want to wear knee pads, though, to ensure that you don’t hurt yourself.

At this point, you probably have a pretty good idea of where the cracks originated but may not fully understand why they are occurring. That’s okay – you have paving contractors who fully understand these problems and who can take the proper steps to manage these issues. However, you should know how to do some spot repairs on your asphalt to ensure that it is as strong as possible and to decrease the spread of cracks across your driveway or parking lot.

Do Spot Repairs

Once you notice issues on your pavement that needs repair, you can take a few different steps. The first is to contact professionals to do the repairs for you. The second is to do the repairs on your own. This step isn’t a bad idea if you have some experience with fixing asphalt. Most of the time, you should have the ability to patch up very small issues, such as a single crack along the edge of your pavement.

If you think that the issues affecting your pavement are small enough for you to handle, there’s a good chance that you could do some spot repairs to ensure that the surface is durable and protected. Thankfully, there are many ways that you can perform these simple fixes. Doing so is an excellent choice if you want to avoid having to pay professionals to fix your driveway or parking lot or if you have some skills working with such items.

For example, you can add a little tar to the damaged areas and spread it evenly to let it soak into the crack. This tar will then dry and hold your asphalt together for a more extended period. These patches are a popular way of managing minor issues because they should take no longer than an hour or two to finish. If you don’t want to add hot tar, you can also add pre-manufactured patches to your damaged asphalt to protect its surface.

While you don’t need to work with paving contractors to do these types of spot repairs, you may still want to contact one to check your work after you’re done. There’s a good chance that there may be more involved issues affecting your pavement that trigger these cracks. Fully understanding these concerns can help you and your paving contractor do what is necessary to repair your slab.

Remove Affected Areas If Necessary

Spot repairs on your asphalt paving can help to manage many small problems and keep them from becoming a significant issue. However, there comes a time when some pavement issues cannot be handled, no matter how much you repair them. In this situation, there’s a good chance that you and some paving contractors are going to have to remove small portions of your driveway or parking lot and replace them with new pavement.

This type of spot replacement is necessary if your cracks continually appear in one spot and never spread beyond there. That’s because problems with your sub-base or other concerns are probably causing weakness in this area that requires more specialized repair techniques. So you will likely have to completely break these areas apart with sledgehammers, remove the remaining asphalt, and check out the sub-base to see what is happening.

Then, you probably need to have a professional diagnose the problem and carefully repair the sub-base. Sub-base damage is something that you probably can’t handle on your own because it is such a critical and often hard-to-understand type of repair. Thankfully, most types of sub-base repairs shouldn’t take more than an afternoon to finish, though pouring the asphalt may have to occur later on in the week to ensure that things go smoothly.

Get the Whole Surface Repaired

If you’re struggling to handle these cracks on your own, you need to contact paving contractors and get the whole surface repaired. This process may seem a bit extreme but is often necessary for many situations. For example, if your entire slab is affected by alligator cracking or other types of problems, you need to contact a professional who fully understands how to implement high-quality repairs.

In many cases, you can manage this problem by merely repairing all of the surface and ensuring that it doesn’t crack again. However, these repairs may only be delaying the inevitable. If you suffer from cracks that go across your whole pavement surface, there is a good chance that you need not just to repair the pavement but that you may also require a complete replacement of the entire slab, all the way from the sub-base to the very surface.

This replacement is often necessary because cracks this extreme usually start at the sub-base and spread up throughout the surface of your pavement. Problems with the sub-base include issues with its stability, water throughout much of its surface, and temperature issues that spread problems throughout the whole slab. Pay attention to these kinds of issues to learn more about how they affect you and pay particular attention to the cost of total replacement.

Don’t Let Cracks Take Over!

As you can see, dealing with cracks is a time-consuming process that will require you to put in some hours of work to finish. So if you need to work with paving contractors from Champaign, Mahomet, Monticello, or other towns in central Illinois, contact us at Elite Paving & Sealcoating to learn more. Our experts have the skills necessary to help keep your pavement as strong as possible.

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