Causes of cracks on roads

cracks on roads

Roads are a primary mode of transport and every day, several vehicles pass through the roads. Therefore, it is important that you have good quality roads for a safe commute. However, due to the constant movement of vehicles, roads do get damaged eventually. Initially, when a road gets damaged, cracks begin to appear on its surface. But what causes roads to cracks? Let’s take a look at some reasons why roads develop cracks.

Water Accumulation

When there is too much water accumulated on the road, the road surface can develop cracks. The accumulated water can seep through the road surface and reach the bottom layer of a road. This water can freeze when the weather is cold and cause cracks to widen.

Oil Spills

There’s always a possibility of oil spills on the road from vehicles as they pass. If the leaked oil and petrol is not cleaned or cleared on time, chemical reactions (between asphalt and the leaked oil or petroleum) can affect the road surface and result in minor cracks.

Drying Shrinkage

Drying shrinkage is a common cause of cracks on concrete roads. Drying shrinkage takes place when the mixture used in the construction of the road is not prepared correctly. The road loses its moisture or dries too quickly. Apart from these reasons, drying shrinkage can also take place due to extreme weather conditions. To avoid drying shrinkage, it is recommended to construct your concrete road from one of the experienced road construction companies.


Stripping occurs on asphalt roads when the composite materials are unable to hold together. This type of cracks begin at the base of the road and slowly and steadily move up towards the surface. Stripping takes place due to inadequate drainage measures. Apart from drainage, stripping can take place due to the cyclic pore water pressure that is applied onto the roads because of heavy traffic.

Fatigue or Alligator Cracks

This type of crack occurs when the road is subjected to severe weather conditions over time. Frequent movement of heavy vehicles is also responsible to damage road surfaces eventually. A thick layer of asphalt can help to prolong the life of asphalt roads. Apart from increasing the density of the asphalt layer, road construction companies can also focus on creating a better road drainage system that prevents accumulation of water on roads.

Cracks, when left unrepaired, can develop potholes. Once the potholes are developed, it can lead to huge road expenses in the future. Therefore, it’s better that you take precautionary measures and prevent the formation of cracks on roads. To repair your roads that have developed cracks, get in touch with a road construction company.