Anchorage, Alaska

3 Types of Asphalt Damage & How to Prevent Them May 15, 2019

Anchorage, Anchorage County
3 Types of Asphalt Damage & How to Prevent Them, Anchorage, Alaska

When it’s in good condition, asphalt is easily one of the most reliable and attractive surface materials available. Over time, inclement weather and other stressors can take their toll and cause significant structural damage. Here are a few common issues that may affect your asphalt surface and how to prevent them from occurring.

3 Common Types of Asphalt Damage

1. Potholes

Potholes can be harmful to pedestrians and drivers alike. These deep pits develop as water beneath the surface expands due to temperature fluctuations. When the moisture freezes in the winter, it expands and causes the asphalt to crack or bend. As it melts, the asphalt then contracts and leaves behind a telltale gap. You can prevent the problem by assessing the condition of the pavement often. Fill any visible cracks before they have a chance to grow and invite moisture into the surface. Sealing the ground as much as possible is key to preventing such issues.

2. Alligator Cracking

asphaltAlligator cracks can develop if the layers beneath the surface aren’t strong enough to support the weight on top. Vehicles could eventually cause the surface to enter a state of failure. Widespread cracks resemble those of an alligator and can cause serious safety threats if left untreated. The problem is usually due to unsupportive layers beneath the surface. If they aren’t built to hold the weight of heavy traffic, for example, then the material above will undoubtedly suffer. As with potholes, it’s best to treat visible cracks immediately to reduce the chances of widespread damage. If the structure is specifically designed for traffic, however, it’s imperative to have a paving contractor apply stronger base layers to avoid further damage in the future.

3. Edge Cracks

Edge cracks can be a little trickier to detect because they typically start on the sides of the road and slowly move to the middle. Asphalt that is aging or thin is particularly vulnerable, especially if it’s poorly maintained and exposed to heavy traffic on a regular basis. Poor drainage solutions are also to blame; if runoff has nowhere to go, it will collect along the sides and seep into surface cracks, leading to slow erosion. To prevent further problems, address existing drainage issues and remove vegetation situated along the roadside. Fill visible openings to prevent them from spreading. If the damage is more widespread, you may need to consider reconstruction to prevent more serious problems.


Are you concerned about the condition of your asphalt? Trust in the paving contractors at Caddo Construction to provide the solution. Based in Anchorage, AK, they offer a wide range of services, including repairs, road paving, and pavement resurfacing. They’re proud to work with both residential and commercial clients. Visit them online for more information on their services, or call (907) 333-6160 to schedule a free estimate.

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