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  • Oakes Paving

5 Common Asphalt Pavement Problems and How to Resolve Them

Asphalt trumps concrete in many ways, making it a straightforward choice for residential and commercial projects. However, asphalt is not immune to issues, which may result from natural wear and tear, aging, overload, poor installation and other factors.

Here are some of the most common asphalt pavement issues and what you can do to fix them.

1. Alligator Cracking

Alligator cracking consists of inter-connected hairline fractures, making it look like the scales of an alligator. It usually surfaces when the base of your pavement is weak, the pavement isn’t thick, there’s overload, and so on. If not repaired early, alligator cracking worsens over time and becomes more difficult and expensive.


There are several ways to fix the issue, depending on the severity of the damage. However, the most effective method is to remove the damaged section, strengthen the base, and install fresh asphalt over the area.

2. Potholes

Potholes usually take the shape of a bowl, and as the damage becomes severe, they widen and get to the base. They typically result when small cracks widen and worsen. Also, potholes can be caused when puddles of water stay on the spot for a long time and lead to depression.


There are several ways to fix a pothole, depending on the intensity. One way is to pour the patching material into the pothole without clearing water and debris, compact it using a patching truck tire, and add more materials if you still notice a depression.

3. Block Cracking

Block cracking got its name from its rectangular shape, that’s usually about one foot large and can cover a larger area. This issue isn’t restricted to high-traffic areas as it is not load-dependent.

So they may be present on your infrequently traveled pavement. It can be caused by several reasons, including poor asphalt binder in the mix, poor expansive and contractive property of the asphalt due to aging, and so on.


For less severe cracks, you can use sealant to stop water from getting into the subgrade and causing more damage. Then seal coat the entire area. However, sealing is ineffective for larger cracks. In that case, you’ll have to replace the entire layer.

4. Longitudinal Crack

When a crack is parallel to the centerline of a pavement or forms in the same direction as the pavement, it is a longitudinal crack. Like block cracking, longitudinal cracks are not load-related. Instead, they are generally caused by asphalt shrinkage and expansive due to changes in temperature, pavement fatigue, poor composition at the joint, and so on.


The solution is similar to block cracking. For small cracks, typically less than half inches, use a sealant and apply a sealcoat. For severe cracks, you may have to overhaul the whole resurface and replace it with fresh asphalt.

5. Raveling

Raveling is when asphalt particles, such as gravel, begin to dislodge and come loose. It starts gradually with the loss of asphalt and rocks downwards, resulting in uneven areas, the pooling of water in the raveled area, and other severe issues.


Simply patch the area for minor raveling. For more severe raveling, the effective solution is to remove the damaged section and then apply a fresh overlay.

Whether it is a commercial or residential pavement issue, our experts will let you know how to fix it. We also offer high-quality installation, maintenance, and repair services at affordable costs. Call us at 215-297-8311 to get started.

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