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How to Minimize Cracks in Driveways


Keeping your blacktop driveway in good shape is important for several reasons. First of all, any cracks or chips that develop can grow into larger issues. When a crack becomes big enough, it could eventually grow into a pothole, which can damage your vehicle not to mention pose a danger to anyone walking over it without seeing it. Secondly, cracks and chips in the driveway just don’t look good, which means your home’s curb appeal is being hurt. Fortunately, there are steps you can take towards minimizing cracks in your driveway.

Blacktop is basically a term used for asphalt concrete. It’s a mix of asphalt cement and aggregate. The strength of the blacktop depends on the size and the amount of aggregate. The aggregate is usually made from a mixture of small to medium-sized stones and dried coarse sand. During the mixing process, the aggregate will become coated with the asphalt cement. When the size of the stones increases in your mix, the blacktop will become stronger.


Because blacktop is flexible, it will usually stretch before it cracks. Unfortunately, it has very little tensile strength, which means that much of its strength will depend on its foundation. The best way to create a strong foundation for your blacktop is by applying a base of crushed gravel directly on the soil. The soil needs to be compacted in order for the crushed stone base to have maximum strength. Additionally, the soil and the stone base cannot be saturated with water since water will soften the soil, thereby causing the base to be able to move. If the base is allowed to move, it will cause the blacktop to crack.


There are a few ways to avoid these issues with the foundation. For example, you can use a different type of concrete instead of crushed gravel for your base. By using an initial layer with a larger aggregate, you’ll provide additional strength to the foundation. There are also geo-tech fabrics that can be layered onto the soil before the first base is applied. This will prevent soil mush from getting through to the base, avoiding water saturation.

Focus on putting down a strong foundation for your blacktop to help with minimizing cracks over its lifetime. For more information about minimizing cracks in your driveway or to have your cracks fixed, be sure to contact us at Master Markings today.

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