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What is alligator cracking?

alligator crackingAlligator cracking could well be the most serious type of damage that your asphalt pavement suffers during the course of its life. The name was derived from the appearance of the damaged asphalt — a pattern of connected shapes that look a great deal like the scales on a reptile’s back. It is also called crocodile cracking or alligatored asphalt. ¬†As a Houston paving contractor, we see a lot of this.

Most instances of alligator cracking can be prevented. Assuming the initial pavement was applied over a stable, compacted foundation and properly installed, alligatoring is normally the result of unrepaired damage. Small cracks can allow moisture to seep into the foundation, eroding it and weakening it. If the foundation loses its integrity, it can no longer provide the proper support for the pavement. Every vehicle that travels across the weakened area can cause further damage. Before you know it, a large area of your pavement may be alligatored.

Alligatored asphalt normally requires extensive repairs. Patches and fills can sometimes provide a short-term answer to preventing additional damage, but they are only a temporary stalling action. Remediation normally requires removal of the damaged pavement and replacing it. Many times, the foundation will need work also.

A program of routine inspection and immediate repairs can help prevent alligatoring. Sealcoating can give you an additional layer of defense. Studies have shown that when a maintenance program is undertaken soon into the life of an asphalt surface, the pavement’s life can be extended by many years. A good maintenance program will include filling cracks as soon as possible to help prevent damage to the foundation and reduce the possibility of alligatoring.

LDC Paving is a full-service asphalt paving and maintenance contractor committed to providing our clients with the highest quality of work at affordable rates. We are “parking lot specialists,” providing parking lot striping, asphalt sealcoating and asphalt repairs to apartment complexes, municipalities, subdivisions, shopping centers and many other businesses throughout the Houston area. Use the form found on our website to request a free quote, or give us a call at 832-640-7296.

LDC Paving is a premier Houston paving contractor providing a superior product for our customer with unmatched service.


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