Pavement Preservation Journal, Winter 2012, Volume 5, Number 6
By Dr. Yetkin Yildirim, P.E.
Pavement cracking inevitably develops in virtually all pavement surfaces, and is the primary mode of deterioration for asphalt pavements.
Cracking is observed in a variety of forms: transverse, longitudinal, block and alligator. All types of cracks should be treated promptly as they contribute to accelerated pavement service life reduction. Cracks allow moisture to penetrate to a road’s base, which can cause serious damage. Neglecting pavement cracks typically leads to far more serious conditions, such as potholes, crack growth, spalls, secondary cracks and base failure.
The main causes of cracking are thermal variations and excessive loading, which are expected and unavoidable. Because of this, it is important that road maintenance personnel are able to apply crack sealant efficiently, effectively and in a timely manner.
In pursuit of this goal, the Center for Transportation Research at the University of Texas has developed a field manual for the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to provide a quick reference guide for cracks and crack sealing procedures.