When laying asphalt there are a lot of elements that must be properly put in place to ensure its longevity. One of these elements is the asphalt’s drainage system. Water can ruin and reduce the life of the asphalt. One of the common problems due to a flawed drainage system is asphalt pumping. For those who care for or manage an asphalt surface, it is important to know what asphalt pumping is, what it looks like and seek asphalt service if it occurs. With that in mind, Andersen Asphalt & Striping would like to go into more detail about asphalt pumping.
What is Asphalt Pumping?
Asphalt pumping, or sometimes simply referred to as pumping, is when there is too much water that is underneath the asphalt. When there is a lot of water in the underlying layers of the asphalt, or underneath the asphalt’s surface, the water will pump up through the asphalt. Often water will be seen coming up and out of the cracks in the asphalt. It is most common to see the water pumping out underneath the asphalt when there is a heavy load or weight on the asphalt’s surface. When pumping occurs, this is a major problem for the asphalt. One of the most damaging elements for asphalt is water. When there is too much water coming out from underneath the asphalt, this will cause the sub-base and sub-grading material to be stripped out right from underneath the asphalt. When asphalt pumping occurs, the asphalt is being eroded away from the bottom and up to the surface, for an asphalt road, this will pose a major traffic hazard. Asphalt pump causes loss of road traction and vehicles can slide around even during dry weather conditions.
What Causes Asphalt to Rise?
Asphalt pumping is bad for both the road’s longevity and every driver on the road. However, how does asphalt pumping occur in the first place? One of the first reasons why asphalt pumping occurs is when the water table in the soil is too high. Groundwater can easily penetrate and affect the asphalts sub-layer. In the southwest, high water tables in the soil is not an ongoing problem and most often occurs during the monsoon season or from unexpected flooding. However, water can seep from the top of the asphalt through cracks and large pores where the moisture becomes trapped by the asphalt itself. Improperly maintained roads and asphalt will often develop asphalt pumping problems. Lastly Asphalt pumping is most often the result of a combination of poor drainage design and a bad asphalt mix.
Solutions for Asphalt Pumping
When you see water seeping from the cracks or holes in the asphalt, you have asphalt pumping. Once you detect the problem, you will first want to contact an asphalt service. They will perform an inspection of the asphalt to determine why the asphalt pumping has occurred. In some cases, the drainage system needs to be reworked. The damaged area of the asphalt will need to be cut out and patched up. For severe asphalt pumping, the sub-base and the sub-grading may need to be redone completely. Basically you will need to have the asphalt complete torn out and the road reworked.
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Asphalt pumping can be prevented with proper maintenance and installation. If you discover you have asphalt pumping problems or need a quality asphalt and striping services, contact Andersen Asphalt & Striping.