What Is Fatigue Cracking in Pavement? | Alligator Cracking | UNIQUE Paving Materials

What Is Fatigue Cracking in Pavement?

What Is Fatigue Cracking in Pavement?

When it comes to concrete and asphalt upkeep, it is important to make sure that your pavement is more than prepared to take on traffic flows and heavy usage. With that in mind, one of the most common, yet detrimental, issues pavement can endure is fatigue cracking.

If you are wondering “what is fatigue cracking?” then UNIQUE Paving Materials is here to help identify the issue and why it occurs, as well as provide you with products that will exceed your application needs.

What Is Fatigue Cracking and How Do You Fix It?

Fatigue cracking in pavement, also known as alligator or crocodile cracking, is a series of interconnected cracks that appear in either asphalt or concrete. If alligator cracking is not properly repaired, the damage can expand rapidly, which can ultimately endanger the overall viability and appearance of your pavement.

Some of the main reasons that fatigue cracking in pavement can occur include the following:

  • The overloading of pavement – The thickness of pavement is dependent on the predicted amount of weight that it will need to support. For example, A busy street would typically have more vehicles on it than a less crowded street in a neighborhood, so the asphalt would be poured to support the given traffic patterns. Because of this, fatigue cracking in pavement can happen when the asphalt that is poured is too thin to support the amount of traffic on the road.
  • The erosion of the foundation underneath – Water penetration into the pavement’s foundation can be a leading cause of ongoing erosion and fatigue cracking in asphalt. To avoid future issues with crocodile cracking, it is important to repair potholes and cracks in a timely fashion, as well as provide proper drainage for the foundation underneath the pavement itself.
  • General installation errors – Common installation errors that can result in fatigue cracking include weak underlying soil. If not properly tended to before pouring and properly compacting the asphalt, alligator cracking in the foundation can occur and spread, causing the need for an immediate repair.

Types of Fatigue Cracking

There are three different kinds of fatigue cracking, all based on the level of severity. These include:

  • High-severity – This type is where the cracks are so deep that large chunks of asphalt have separated from the whole. High severity cracking indicates that the pavement has been stressed to the limit of its fatigue life.
  • Moderate-severity – These cracks may be swollen tightly, and lower layers of material may become evident, which is when connecting lines begin to form. Over time, if these cracks are neglected, they can cause even more alligator cracking in your pavement, creating a vicious cycle.
  • Low-severity – You can still salvage and easily fix damage at this point. This type of cracking is when an area of asphalt only has small cracks with a few of them connecting. In this phase, transverse cracking most likely hasn’t formed yet and you can fix the damaged section before it gets worse.

How Our Products Can Fix Fatigue Cracking in Asphalt

At UNIQUE Paving Materials, we are here to supply you with the materials needed to repair and prevent fatigue cracking in pavement. Since 1959, we have been one of the leading providers of pavement repair equipment that will save you time, money, and repeated repairs.

Some of the products that we offer to fix fatigue cracking in asphalt or concrete include the following:

Though our concrete and asphalt repair products are intended to reduce the presence of fatigue cracking, it is important that you take the necessary precautions to circumvent the issue. To prevent crocodile cracking, our team at UNIQUE Paving Materials recommends that you construct a sub-base in order to accommodate the traffic load, as well as provide a good drainage system to keep the water out of that sub-base. For more information regarding our expansive product line, please visit our individual product pages.

FAQs on Alligator Cracking

What causes alligator cracking?

Alligator cracking is caused by repeated traffic and the aging of asphalt pavement. Other main factors that contribute to their formation include poor drainage, inadequate base or subgrade support, and poor asphalt mix design.

How long does it take before cracking occurs?

While the lifespan of pavement can vary depending on factors such as climate or maintenance, crocodile cracking may start to appear after 10 to 20 years of service.

Are there any safety concerns associated with crocodile cracking?

Yes, crocodile cracking can pose safety risks to drivers. This can be an issue when cracks become deep and wide or if they fill up with water. These cracks can lead to a loss of vehicle controls and accidents.

Contact UNIQUE Paving Materials for Products That Repair Fatigue Cracking

If you are looking for asphalt and concrete repair materials to fix fatigue cracking, let our team provide the reliable products to satisfy your needs.

Contact us today to learn more about our products for fatigue cracking in pavement, as we are looking forward to assisting you in any way that we can.

0/5 (0 Reviews)

About the author

Becky Dunlavey

With over 10 years of experience, I wear many hats at UNIQUE Paving Materials. In addition to managing our multimedia marketing efforts and coordinating trade shows and regional events, working with the sales and customer service departments has allowed me to gain a multifaceted knowledge of the industry.

Learn more about our asphalt & concrete repair products

If you’re looking for the best in asphalt repair companies that can supply premium materials, UNIQUE Paving Materials is the optimal choice for you. The road repair services and materials we offer are proven to save time, money, and even repeated repairs.