Types of Asphalt Damage

If you have an asphalt driveway, carpark or workshop, you may see a variety of different cracks forming. For many people, a crack is just a crack but knowing the difference between each of them can save you time and money when it comes to asphalt repairs. Understanding your type of asphalt damage can assist you in knowing the extent and type of your required asphalt repairs.

In this asphalt repair guide we outline some of the most common cracks seen in asphalt and help you to understand what is needed to fix them including when asphalt resurfacing is necessary and in what circumstances resurfacing is the best option to save on costs and avoid further damages.


Alligator Cracking

Alligator cracking takes the shape of scales across your asphalt. It is often caused by a structural failure in the underlying base construction, which is from when the pavement was initially installed. The failure can be caused by a weakness in the original surface, a base layer that is too thin, or insufficient drainage. Cracks often begin appearing in the wheel path, before flaring out into the scale-like cracks.

The solution for alligator cracking: It’s important to recognise that here, a structural failure is taking place. For structural issues, the only possible solution this to investigate the base material and check the thickness of the asphalt and underlying base construction. A repair method can then be arrived at and quoted.

Alligator cracks in an asphalt driveway, car park or commercial area in need of asphalt repairs such as asphalt resurfacing


Edge Cracks

Edge cracks, like the name suggests, are cracks that form around the edges of your asphalt, at varying widths from the edge. The main cause for these cracks can be poor drainage conditions above and below the surface, or a lack of support around the side of the paving, heavy vegetation (tree roots, etc.) along the edge of the asphalt or even being in a high-volume traffic area with a low-volume pavement, can cause edge cracks to form and deepen. This is something to look out for in long semi-rural asphalt driveways as these driveways typically run alongside plenty of vegetation and tree growth.

The solution for edge cracks: If the cracks are minor, one of the easiest ways to stop them from growing is to remove any vegetation that may be growing up and around the asphalt to fix any root damage issues. Any larger cracks may require a complete asphalt resurfacing or replacement, depending on their size.

Edge cracks on an asphalt road or large residential driveway in need of asphalt repairs such as asphalt resurfacing



Linear Cracking

Linear cracks are those that are parallel to the direction of the asphalt. These can be caused by several factors, such as initial joint construction, general pavement fatigue/movement or having excessively heavy vehicles driving over or near the joint/edge.

The solution for linear cracking: Less severe cracks can sometimes have options for temporary solutions, but any quick-fix solutions have the potential for worsening damages for a bigger bill down the line. If a crack is particularly deep or is causing structural damage, the area will need to be removed in sections and replaced as repaired, followed by a full asphalt resurface.

Linear cracking on an asphalt road in need of asphalt repairs such as asphalt resurfacing



Block Cracking

The last type of crack is the block crack. It is named as such due to their shape, which is large interconnected rectangles. These types of cracks are not from excessive load, but from the base course and/or the asphalt design being insufficient for its intended purpose. Most commonly, these cracks occur more when the asphalt ages and becomes brittle.

The solution for block cracking: Less severe cracks can be temporarily fixed but if a crack is particularly deep or is causing structural damage, the area will need to be replaced with a new base or asphalt.

Block cracks in an asphalt road in need of asphalt repairs such as asphalt resurfacing



Asphalt Resurfacing for Damaged Driveways

No matter what type of cracks your asphalt may have, the experts at NK Asphalt are best suited to assessing the damage and providing you with the best long-term options for asphalt repair. As Perth’s experts in asphalt resurfacing for large residential or commercial driveways, car parks and industrial areas, we have all the tools and knowledge you need to have your driveway looking good as new. Contact one of our specialists to learn about asphalt repairs or ask us for a free measure & quote.


Repairing Asphalt: Get a Perth Asphalt Resurfacing Quote

If your job is 150m2 or more and in the Perth or surrounding areas.

Paul Calnon

Paul is a Director of NK Asphalt and has over thirty years of experience in the asphalt and bitumen industry since joining NK Asphalt in 1994. He’s an expert in all aspects of asphalt works - and can give advice on baseworks, kerbing and other site services. He is dedicated to providing the right solution for clients - and can give great advice on the pro’s and cons of different methods clients may be considering.