Ever look outside your window at your driveway and see a crocodile? Not the kind that may look at you as lunch but there’s another type of crocodile lurking on your driveway. This one takes the shape of series of interlaced cracks across the pavement—similar to the pattern of lines found on a crocodile’s back.
How do crocodile cracks happen? Many are a result of poor drainage. Water that pools on the sides of a driveway or on the pavement itself can damage the underlying base of the driveway and work their way to the surface. The next time it rains – check out your driveway’s drainage and take note of any pooling water on or near the driveway. This could be the first warning sign of future damage.
Another cause could be issues in the sub-base (the layers beneath the top) including poor adhesion between the sub-layer (stone base) and the asphalt top layer. This cause can affect the load of the driveway and lead to additional cracking as a result of a weakened or stripped asphalt layer. In these cases, a new thicker asphalt layer may need to be applied to repair the driveway’s ability to support its load.
Regardless of the cause, these types of cracks need immediate attention. If caught early and if minor in damage, they can be repaired either through repairing the cracks with a sealant or patching the area with new asphalt and base. However, when left untreated, larger cracks and potholes can form and even edge cracking can develop (cracks found at the edges of the driveway that can cause further damage if left untreated).
What is the safest way to protect your driveway from this cracking crocodile? Regular inspections of your driveway for wear and tear and immediate attention to cracks that are small in size are your best prevention tips. Consulting a paving expert to help determine the severity of the cracks is also a good next step. Please call us at 443-827-8601 and we will gladly be of service.