What Is Asphalt Alligatoring?

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What Is Asphalt Alligatoring?

11 April 2016
 Categories: , Blog


If you have an asphalt driveway, you may have heard of a condition called alligatoring. Knowing what alligatoring is, what causes alligatoring, and how you can prevent alligatoring from occurring on your driveway can help you care for your property.

What is asphalt alligatoring?

Asphalt alligatoring is a series of fine, intricate cracks that can appear in asphalt. Alligatoring derives its name from the pebbled appearance of an alligator's skin.

What causes alligatoring?

Alligatoring is caused by instability in the base beneath the asphalt. This problem is commonly attributed to water intrusion beneath the asphalt, which can disturb the base. Once the problem is created by a small amount of water intrusion, alligatoring can quickly spread.

What causes water intrusion beneath the asphalt?

Water intrusion beneath the asphalt usually occurs because of a crack on the surface of the asphalt. It only takes one crack to allow water to seep into the base of the asphalt.

How can you prevent the asphalt from cracking?

The best way to prevent asphalt from cracking is by sealing it with asphalt sealer. This product covers the pores of the asphalt and prevents it from absorbing water. Sealer can be applied by a reputable asphalt repair company, or by a motivated DIYer. If you choose to seal your own driveway, you can purchase the sealer product in large buckets from hardware stores and home improvement centers. Once you've acquired sealer, follow these steps:

  1. Prepare the driveway. Sweep all debris and dirt off of the asphalt. Pull any weeds out of the cracks in the driveway, and remove any weeds or plants that overhang the asphalt in the driveway. Clean the driveway with a strong jet of water and allow the driveway to dry fully. Finally, lay down tarps or duct tape to protect the concrete or yard adjacent to the asphalt.
  2. Seal the first quadrant. Pour some of the asphalt sealer on one of the corners of the driveway. Use a long-handled squeegee to spread sealer over a section equal to about a quarter of the driveway. Cover that area of the driveway entirely with sealer. You may need to pour more sealer over the asphalt to cover the entire quarter.
  3. Seal the remaining quadrants following the procedure from step 2. Move to the next corner of the driveway and pour sealer over that corner, then spread sealer over the asphalt.

Sealing your driveway regularly will help you prevent alligator cracks from damaging the asphalt. For more information, contact a reputable asphalt repair company in your area. Your asphalt repair person can answer your questions and can give you a quote for sealing your driveway. Contact a business, such as ACPLM, for more information.