If your asphalt driveway is in pretty good shape except for one small section that has cracks and crumbling, you may wonder what you need to do to improve the appearance of the asphalt. This type of damage is called alligator or crocodile cracking because the cracks resemble the lines on the back of a crocodile or alligator. This type of cracking often indicates a problem with the base under the asphalt. Here's a look at two repair options.
1. Patch And Seal The Damaged Area
Have the damaged area inspected by an asphalt contractor who can advise you on the right way to make repairs. Patching and sealing may not be possible if the cracking is severe. Patching and sealing may be considered a temporary fix that keeps the damage from spreading, but you may prefer this option over tearing out the damaged asphalt.
To use the patch repair method, the contractor may clean out the cracks and then apply a patch made for repairing alligator crumbles. The patch fills in the cracks and dries to a new smooth dark surface over the damaged area. While this can cover the cracks, the dark patch will be visible.
You can have a sealcoat applied to make the rest of the driveway dark so repairs are less noticeable. If the cracking is minor, these repairs might suffice. However, when there are problems with the base that allows the asphalt to move, the cracks may return eventually.
2. Repair The Base And Add New Asphalt
If your entire driveway is covered with alligator cracks, then you may need to have a new driveway put in. If the cracks are in a small area, such as the bottom of your driveway, it's often possible to make repairs to the damaged area. This costs less than installing a new driveway and replacing the damaged area could prolong the life of your driveway.
The old crumbled and cracked area of asphalt has to be cut out and removed. Then the contractor can rebuild or compact the base so it is stable again. After that, hot asphalt is poured on the base to create a new section of driveway in the area. Just like with a patch, the new asphalt is dark black, so you may want to finish the repairs with a sealcoat so your driveway has a uniform dark color.
Both types of repairs make your driveway more attractive and prevent further damage. Several factors, such as severity of the cracking and condition of the base, affect which method of repair is best. Consider advice from an asphalt repair contractor so your driveway is repaired at a price that fits your budget and so you get results that last a long time.