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What are some different types of pavement damage?


Not all cracks are created equal…Block cracking occurs on the surface level and often results from using old or dry materials during installation. Slippage cracks appear wrinkled, as though the top layer of pavement is sliding off of the subbase – you may even see the two lifts separate. Fatigue cracking is typically caused by considerable flaws in multiple layers of pavement, resulting in the need for more substantial repair than surface-level cracks.


Potholes are essentially places where damaged pavement has been left to degrade; cracks, patch failures, and other defects allow liquids to penetrate the pavement’s surface. When the liquid freezes and thaws, the cracks expand and worsen. Moisture in the rock and soils will “flex” under loads and cause the pavement to slowly degrade. Rutting or grade depressions also worsen over time, and they are caused by portions of pavement settling unevenly. These depressions can be spotted easily after rain when they become puddles. 


Raveling is typically restricted to the surface of asphalt pavement, but it is almost always the result of problems during installation. Poor quality pavement, improperly mixed binders, and excessive temperature fluctuations contribute to unusually rapid surface deterioration known as raveling. Patch failures can either be due to an improperly installed patch or unusually harsh weather conditions. Fortunately, failed patches can often be replaced with another patch.