Where do They Come From?
Cracks are the first sign of trouble in your asphalt driveway. Once a crack has formed, water will have a path to penetrate through the surface of your driveway to your sub-base below. With water in your sub-base, the freeze-thaw cycle associated with northern climates, such as here in Bozeman, MT, will chip away at the structural integrity and leave you with potholes and more.
Cracks generally form from slight shifts in the sub-base (gravel) that lies below an asphalt surface. This could be from inadequate compaction at the time of paving. As well as a higher than normal water table that allows the ground to shift with changing seasons. Nevertheless, cracks are the by product of a shift below the surface of your asphalt pavement. And if left unchecked, these cracks can severely degrade the pavement at a much faster rate than normal weathering.
What Should I do to Address Cracks?
Cracks should be sealed immediately upon noticing them in your asphalt pavement. The longer you wait, the more moisture will seep into your sub-base and degrade the pavement. If you let this degradation go too far then you will be left with a pothole that will need to be removed. This option is far more expensive than just keeping up with general driveway maintenance. If you begin to notice cracks in your asphalt driveway call Yellowstone Pavement Solutions and we will send out one of our engineers to asses the damage and give a viable and price conscious solution to your specific situation. Cracks are certainly not something to be overlooked and by ignoring them, the home or property owner can really open themselves up to costly repairs in the future.