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Reflection Cracking

Cracks in a flexible overlay occurring over an existing crack or joint are known as reflection cracks. Reflection cracking over joints usually results from the expected thermal expansion/contraction of the underlying joint or by the movement of a rigid pavement slab beneath the asphalt surface due to thermal and moisture changes.

Pavement cracks and joints will widen, allowing water penetration, channeling, and damage to the pavement base. A compromised base will quickly lead to larger fissures, gaps, and further pavement distress (voids, potholes, raveling, and more). Additionally, incompressible debris will infiltrate the crack during expansion cycles, further damaging and widening the crack walls during compression cycles, allowing more water channeling, penetration, and base deterioration.