Different Types of Asphalt Cracks and How to Repair Them

Cracked Driveway

Whether you have an asphalt driveway or a asphalt parking lot, ultimately, your asphalt will begin to crack overtime. This can either be from age or from structural problems . Seeing cracks in 20 year old asphalt is normal, but having cracks in fairly new asphalt is a bigger issue. Greenway Industries can offer both residential and commercial asphalt paving services to help either prevent cracking or to repair asphalt cracking.

How Cracks Develop

The first step to repairing cracks in asphalt is to find out why they have formed. There are a number of different factors that can contribute to the wear and tear of your asphalt. It can be the result of a poorly installed base, long-term damage from ice or water, tree roots underneath the asphalt or the weight of vehicles. It’s also good to understand what types of asphalt cracks exist and how your asphalt contractor can proceed with fixing or reconstructing your asphalt.

Types of Asphalt Cracks

Before finding a repair strategy for cracking in your asphalt you must fully understand what type of cracking is happening and how bad the deterioration of the asphalt is. Here are the most common types of asphalt cracks:

Fatigue Cracking

Also called alligator cracking because of the connection of the cracks resembling that of an alligator’s skin. This is caused by load-related deterioration of the pavement from a weakened base, not enough pavement thickness, overloading, or a mix of these.

Block Cracking

These are large rectangular cracks on the surface. They usually cover a large area and may happen where there is little or no traffic. This is generally caused by shrinkage of the asphalt due to temperature changes.

Edge Cracking

These are longitudinal cracks that happen within a foot or two of each other on the outer edges of the asphalt. This occurs from a lack of support from the edges.

Longitudinal Cracking

These happen parallel to the center of the asphalt. This can be due to shrinkage of the asphalt, a poorly constructed joint, cracks forming from a deeper layer, and longitudinal segregation due to poor paver operation.

Transverse Cracking

These are perpendicular to the centerline of the asphalt. This is caused by shrinkage of the asphalt layer or coming from an existing crack

Reflection Cracking

These form over joints or previous cracks in pavement or in the surface of a deteriorated pavement. This forms from the movement of old pavement.

Slippage Cracking

These are crescent-shaped cracks that occur due to a weak asphalt mix or a poor bond between pavement layers. This occurs because of the pressure applied from the turning or braking of vehicles. 

What To Do About Asphalt Cracks

Repair and Patching

For smaller cracks in your driveway or commercial asphalt parking lot, you may benefit from smaller repairs or patching. This option is more beneficial for minor damage to your property and it can offer a cost-effective solution to deterioration or damage.

Hot Asphalt Patching

For quick surface repairs, hot asphalt patching can be used. This includes placing hot asphalt over the broken surface, which can also help to avoid the detrimental effects of water infiltration. Typically, to reduce set-up time and have minimal impact on traffic flow, hot asphalt patching is used for commercial roadways, but it can also be an option for a residential driveway.


To prevent issues with moisture, let Greenway Industries help you with residential sealcoating. When you seal pavement every couple of years, you can greatly reduce the oxidation rate. It is recommended that pavement be seal coated before any issues occur because after the process of oxidation or erosion begins, seal coating fails to produce flexibility in the asphalt.

Need Help with Cracked Asphalt?

Depending on the type of cracks your asphalt has, the asphalt repair methods from range from simple to complex. To have a free evaluation of your property and the level of distress on your asphalt, give us a call today at (203) 885-1037 to discuss your options.