Water is one of the worst things for asphalt cracks—once under the asphalt surface, it can erode the foundation or freeze (which causes heaving). Cracks can accumulate debris, dirt, and can start to grow weeds. Fixing cracks before they become potholes is the smartest thing to do—it also saves you money by extending the life of your asphalt.
When Should You Repair?
Do you have asphalt blacktop that is starting to crack? If you do, you're certainly not alone. Asphalt deterioration often becomes quickly evident after a period of icy or snowy weather when thawing can cause blacktop pavement to crack, crumble and decay. This is especially true for asphalt that isn't properly sealcoated.
The key to maintaining asphalt blacktop is filling cracks as soon as you see them. Putting off repair work will only lead to more damage and possibly even the need for costly asphalt replacement.
Why Do Cracks Form?
There are many different situations that require crack repair or crackfilling. In many situations, cracks can be caused by a poor foundation, by not having a thick enough layer of asphalt, or having a layer of asphalt that is too thick. Sometimes when the asphalt is originally installed the asphalt mix is not blended properly. Earth movement, extremely heavy vehicles, roots from trees, and the freeze-thaw cycle every year are also factors in creating asphalt cracks.
It is extremely important to repair any cracks that arise and maintain an ongoing asphalt crack repair maintenance program every year. If you do not repair the cracks, water will enter into the asphalt's foundation, which will begin to erode. This results in potholes and depressions, which will lead to extensive damage and costly repairs.
Weeds can also grow in cracks; their roots causing even more damage.