Why Full-Depth Asphalt Patching Might Not Be the Best Solution for Alligator Cracks

Why Full-Depth Asphalt Patching Might Not Be the Best Solution for Alligator Cracks

Alligator cracks are a common occurrence on asphalt pavements. As the name suggests, these cracks resemble the hide of an alligator and can occur due to various reasons, including traffic loads, poor drainage, and suboptimal asphalt mix design. But when it comes to fixing these cracks, is full-depth asphalt patching the way to go? In this blog post, we'll explore the pros and cons of this approach and suggest alternative solutions.

Let's start with the basics

Full-depth asphalt patching involves removing the affected section of the pavement and replacing it with a new one. While this can be effective in addressing alligator cracks, it might not be the most economical or practical solution in all cases. First of all, full-depth patching can be costly, especially if the affected area is large. It also requires specialized equipment and expertise, and might disrupt traffic or access to the property. Moreover, full-depth patching can only address the visible symptoms of the crack, without necessarily addressing the underlying cause.

So, what are the alternatives to full-depth patching when it comes to alligator cracks? Here are some options to consider:

Partial-depth patching

This approach involves removing only the top few inches of the affected area, and replacing it with new asphalt. It's a less disruptive and less expensive solution, and can still be effective in preventing further cracking and improving the pavement's performance.

Crack sealing

This approach involves filling the cracks with a sealing material, such as asphalt emulsion or rubberized asphalt. It's a preventative measure that can extend the pavement's lifespan and delay the need for more extensive repairs.


This approach involves adding a new layer of asphalt on top of the existing one, without necessarily removing the damaged section. It can be an effective way to address alligator cracks, as well as other types of surface damage, without incurring the costs and disruptions of full-depth patching.

Preventative maintenance

Ultimately, the best way to address alligator cracks is to prevent them from occurring in the first place. This can be achieved through routine maintenance practices, such as filling potholes, repairing drainage issues, and applying sealcoating and crack sealer as needed. By minimizing the stress on the pavement and keeping it well-maintained, you can reduce the risk of alligator cracking and other types of damage.



While full-depth asphalt patching might seem like the most straightforward solution for alligator cracks, it's not always the most practical or economical approach. Depending on the extent of the damage, the property owner's budget and timeline, and other factors, there might be better alternatives to consider, such as partial-depth patching, crack sealing, overlaying, or preventative maintenance. At Custom Construction Paving, we can help you assess your pavement's needs and recommend the best course of action for repairing alligator cracks and other types of damage. Contact us today for a free quote and professional asphalt paving services in Clermont.

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