Related Article: Why Does Asphalt Crack?


Crack-filling is an economical first step in increasing the longevity of your parking lot. Crack-filler can help to reduce water penetration through the asphalt and into the subgrade. This helps in reducing the number of new cracks that form and shields the subgrade from the harmful effects of high-moisture content that will lead to premature failure of the surface layer.

Water infiltration will contribute to the accelerated deterioration of your asphalt by softening your sub-base and causing the asphalt surface to flex and subsequently break. Once a crack occurs on a lot it will often start to widen due to the freeze-thaw effects of water infiltration. Crack-filling is probably the single most important maintenance procedure that should be done to a sound pavement with no repairing needed.

As you can see in the pictures above, crack filling does not have pleasing aesthetic results. Typically sealcoating your lot provides a nice complement to crack-filling as sealer will restore a consistent black surface over the entire surface of your parking lot.

Crack-Filling FAQs

Why should crack-filling be performed?

  • To prevent the intrusion of water into the underlying layers of the pavement structure and, consequently, preventing the further weakening of the pavement;
  •  To prevent incompressible materials from entering the crack and causing further deterioration as the pavement expands and contracts with temperature changes.

Which cracks should be treated?

  • Any crack will allow moisture penetration into the sub-base, so they should all be treated
  •  Cracks narrower than 1/8 inch should not be filled because there isn’t sufficient space for the filler to penetrate and adhere to the inner sidewalls;
  • Extensive cracking or “alligatoring” should be patched, not filled.

How soon should cracks be filled after they appear?

  • The sooner the better. At the very longest, within one or two season after they appear.

How much does it cost?

The factors that contribute to the cost of crack-filling are:

  • How dirty the cracks are, and consequently how much time must be spent cleaning them;
  • The total lineal footage of the project (more feet, less cost per unit); and
  • Crack width and depth.

What brand of crack-filler do you use?

  • Generally we use Crafco or an equivalent.

What sort of preparation work is necessary before cracks can be filled?

  • Cracks should first be cleaned of all dirt, moss, water and foreign objects. We use a variety of methods to achieve this, including rotating bristle brooms, wire brooms, pressure washers and blowers.

Contact us for more info on crack repair and crack-filling in Raleigh and surrounding areas now!

Raleigh Paving provides crack-filling and crack repair services. We serve the Triangle, Triad and Charlotte metro areas of North Carolina including Raleigh, Greensboro and Winston-Salem.

Understanding Cracks in Your Asphalt

Just one of the many reasons that asphalt pavement should be monitored and maintained throughout its lifecycle, is that sometimes, even despite best efforts, it can crack. If and when asphalt pavement does crack it is best to repair it at the first sight of damage, as cracked asphalt can lead to a number of bigger problems for your surface. Here at Raleigh Paving in North Carolina, we work with customers throughout the state to ensure that their asphalt surfaces are in good condition, and we stay one step ahead, often repairing before permanent damage can be done.

We understand how frustrating it can be when a surface begins to crack. As experts in asphalt pavement, we strive to be our customers’ number one source for questions and advice when it comes to their surface. Often, customers approach us wanting to know what causes asphalt to crack and, simply put, there are a number of factors that can contribute to cracked asphalt.

Why Does Asphalt Crack?

There is no one explanation as to why asphalt cracks, though there are certainly some common reasons. Not only does asphalt pavement sometimes crack, but it can crack in a number of ways, such as alligator cracking, block cracking and edge cracking. Just a few of the common reasons that asphalt may crack, include:

  • A weak base. Weak subgrade can cause alligator cracking, particularly if excessive weight is put on the surface often. Alligator cracking appears in a pattern of small cracks that look, appropriately, like alligator skin.
  • The asphalt has aged. If the asphalt surface is older and dried, it can cause block cracking down the road due to lack of flexibility in the asphalt.  When first laid, asphalt has it’s proper oil content and appears very black in color.  As time goes on, the asphalt oxidizes and ages.  The oil essentially leaves the asphalt and causes it to become more rigid and prone to cracking.
  • Poor drainage. Lack of drainage access can cause the buildup of water, mud, melted snow & dirt, etc., which eventually wears on the asphalt surface and may cause cracking. Worse yet, when cracking begins, water then penetrates the surface and can compromise the subgrade, causing further damage.
  • Settlement of underlying material. An issue that is often unavoidable, as is nature, sometimes earth underneath a heavy surface begins to settle after some time, which can cause unevenness and cracking on an asphalt surface.
  • Daily temperature changes. Another force of nature, sometimes weather can cause unwanted, and difficult to predict, changes in asphalt. Cold weather can cause pavement to shrink, while UV rays from the sun can result in brittle asphalt — both of which weaken the asphalt and make it prone to cracking.

Again, those are just a few of the reasons that asphalt can crack. There are many unique factors that vary from surface to surface which can cause damage to your asphalt.

How Do I Fix Cracked Asphalt?

We also often hear customers ask how to fix cracked asphalt. Here at Raleigh Paving, while we are happy to help you repair your asphalt, we do our best to catch, or prevent, these issues before they arise. A few ways to prevent asphalt cracking include:

Asphalt Cracking Prevention

  • Ensure your surface includes proper drainage upon construction.
  • Make sure you have a proper spec in place.  You want to ensure you have a firm subgrade, adequate stone base, and proper thickness of asphalt for the specific application.  If your spec is insufficient for the application, the lifespan of the asphalt can decrease dramatically
  • Apply sealcoating at the beginning of your surface’s life cycle to help avoid unwanted changes due to sunlight, moisture, and other elements.  Make sure you sealcoat and crackfill regularly to help preserve and protect your asphalt investment

Asphalt Repair

When your surface is beyond repair, it is best to consider reconstructing and/or resurfacing your parking lot. When you choose to work with Raleigh Paving for your initial paving project, maintenance or reconstruction, you can rest assured that we will take every step possible to prevent cracking on your surface before it happens, and if it has already happened, we are happy to help your repair your surface!

Asphalt Repair Specialists in Raleigh

Are you ready to have the worry of your asphalt surface off of your shoulders? Turn to the experts at Raleigh Paving. We are with you every step of the way, taking the stress off of your plate so that you can focus on the things that are important to your business. Give us a call today if you are ready to get started with your asphalt repair, damage prevention, or any of our other high-quality paving services!