What Is Alligator Cracking?


What Is Alligator Cracking?

Also known as fatigue or crocodile cracking, alligator cracking is a common sign of asphalt deterioration. While they can be harmless enough at first, if left alone, alligator cracks can become a serious issue. From causes to treatment, here’s what you need to know for best outcomes with “alligatored” asphalt.

What Causes Alligator Cracking in Asphalt? 

Any of the following causes by themself, or in combination, can lead to asphalt full of alligator cracks.

  • Problems below the surface: Alligator cracks can be an indication that the sub-base has been compromised due to ineffective preparation. 
  • Cold-weather damage: Especially if you’re located in a cold area, the weather can cause the sub-base to shift, erode and/or expand as the asphalt freezes and thaws. 
  • Overloading of too-thin pavement: If your asphalt has been supporting heavier loads than originally intended, this can put too much pressure on it and lead to these cracks. 

No matter the cause, you’ll need to address alligator cracks quickly to prevent even further damages.

How To Fix Alligator Cracks in Asphalt

Take the following steps to prevent additional asphalt damage and get your lot to an optimal state.

Keep Traffic Away if Possible

Traffic may not only amplify asphalt damages, but there’s a slight chance passing vehicles could be damaged.

Understand and Repair the Issue 

Knowing the cause of alligator cracking (e.g., if it’s related to the lot’s sub-base or not) is crucial for understanding the full extent of damage and the best repair option. If the issue is related to the sub-base, it’s important to try to remove the entire damaged area if possible. Otherwise, it may continue to compromise the integrity of both existing and new asphalt. 

Patching the surface may be possible if we determine that the base of your parking lot is still stable. However, this will not last as long as pavement replacement, even if it is more cost-friendly. We can provide a recommendation based on your unique circumstances

Replace the Asphalt 

Most parking lots will have between 2″ and 4″ of existing asphalt. Depending on the circumstances, we like to replace as much asphalt as was already there—if not more—to ensure the best-possible results. If removal of the damaged area was not previously possible, replacing the entire surface will likely be the most cost-effective and high-performing solution. 

Expertly Deal With Alligator Cracks With Raleigh Paving

Don’t wait to deal with alligator cracks. For the perfect fix, Raleigh Paving can act fast and ensure the most custom approach possible. With extensive experience and proven results, we can make sure that you get the long-term, budget-friendly outcomes you need. Get started with your free consultation today.

Find Your Paving Solution
worker in parking lot
What's Best
For Your Lot
Do you need all new asphalt or will fresh sealcoating do the trick?
Learn More
pouring asphalt
how we
do paving
Our experts manage every last detail so your project goes smoothly.
Learn More
child smiling
we're granting
a child's wish!
A portion of our proceeds this year will go toward the Make-A-Wish® Foundation.
Learn More
Schedule Your Free Consultation Today
Our Partners