Asphalt cracking can happen for a variety of reasons. These include unfavorable weather or environment, drainage issues, inappropriate or subpar materials, and traffic loads. That said, it is always crucial to correctly identify the type of fracture and its origin. The causes of each type of crack are unique. To prevent the state of the asphalt from deteriorating further, timely maintenance is essential.

In such a case, the various types of asphalt cracking, the main causes of the cracks, and potential solutions for each are listed below.

1. Block Cracking

Large rectangles or squares in your pavement are what block cracks look like. One potential reason is insufficient moisture, either in the first application or the second. Extreme temperature swings might also prevent the asphalt binder from contracting or expanding to its full capacity. Typically, traffic is not a factor. You can patch up little cracks. The typical treatment for more severe block cracking is overlay replacement.

2. Edge Cracking

Edge cracks are longitudinal cracks that occur just a few feet from one of the pavement’s edges. They may be brought on by soil drying, soil settlement, or a lack of lateral support. Trees or bushes close by may also be their potential causes. These need to be removed. Adding an asphalt emulsion slurry to the hole will frequently solve the issue. That said, your drainage unit may also need to be improved.

3. Fatigue Cracking

Since they prefer the skin of such reptiles, fatigue cracks are often referred to as alligator cracking. Fatigue cracking, as the name implies, is a load-related degradation. A poor basis, subgrade, or surface deterioration may make it worse. A potential issue is poor drainage. The material in the affected area needs to be taken out and replaced with the right asphalt mixture.

4. Longitudinal Cracking

Occurring parallel to the centerline of the pavement is longitudinal fissures. Longitudinal cracking could be brought on by a variety of things. There may be asphalt shrinkage. It’s possible that a joint was built incorrectly. One of the causes could be improper paver use. In these situations, the surface will need to be resealed with the necessary changes.

5. Reflection Cracking

Reflection cracking develops as a result of asphalt overlays being applied over a jointed or cracked pavement structure. The old pavement then begins to shift or move. This pavement’s fractures or joints may reflect light up to the surface. Crack sealant can occasionally repair minor cracks. More severely broken pavement might require the layer to be replaced.

6. Slippage Cracking

These fissures have a crescent form. Slippage cracks may develop for a variety of reasons. Poor bonding between the surface and the substance underneath might result from the presence of non-adhesive elements between layers, such as water or dirt. One potential cause is an inadequate or low-strength asphalt mix. A layer with good bonding is typically attained by removing material around the break area. This allows for patching the upper area.

7. Transverse Cracking

Transverse cracks are cracks that are roughly perpendicular to the centerline. They can happen as a result of thermal cracking at low temperatures or because the asphalt grade is too harsh for the local climate. The shrinkage of the asphalt layer frequently results in these fissures. Although they are not load-related, they can be made worse by busy roads. This kind of crack is often repaired using sealant or, if necessary, a new overlay.


Indeed, asphalt cracking can be caused by a variety of factors, but most commonly, it is a result of the deterioration of the asphalt surface. The most common causes of asphalt cracking are moisture, weather, and traffic. It is important to address each of these factors to prevent them from happening and correct any issues that may be causing it, if any.
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