Asphalt isn’t an indestructible material that will last forever. Asphalt, much like anything else, requires maintenance, repairs, and eventually it will need to be replaced. When asphalt needs repairs it will often provide some signs or clues. Without proper and timely repairs, the lifespan of the asphalt will greatly decrease. To extend the life and quality of the asphalt, Andersen Asphalt & Striping will share some of the common signs your asphalt is in need of repair.
Alligator Cracking in Pavement
As the name implies, alligator cracks is when the asphalt develop patches of cracks that look like an alligator’s skin. When alligator cracking begins, the asphalt is in need of repairs or the cracks will get worse. As long as the cracking isn’t too severe, they can be repaired. Major alligator cracking can result in a BST overlay or even full asphalt replacement.
When looking at the surface of asphalt, it should look fairly level. When the asphalt looks like it is buckled in an area or is wavy, this occurs for a couple of reasons. One, the sub-grade wasn’t done correctly during the installation process. The second reason asphalt will buckle is due to a failed alligator crack repair or the alligator crack wasn’t repaired soon enough. Buckling is never a good sign and often the asphalt will need to be removed and the sub-grade redone properly.
Crumbling Asphalt Driveway Edges
When you have a driveway, parking lot or asphalt road that has begun to crumble along the edges, this simply shows the age of the asphalt. Asphalt will eventually begin to break down and most of the time, along the edges. When you begin to see crumbling edges you will most likely need to replace the asphalt.
Pavement Surface Drainage Problems
When water puddles on the surface of the asphalt, this can greatly reduce the health and longevity of the pavement. Often the inner layer of the asphalt can be broken up or shifted due to water seeping through the asphalt. When the water doesn’t properly flow away from the asphalt there is a drainage problem. Sometimes the drainage system will need to be repaired or improved. Do not leave puddling water on the asphalt or your pavement will quickly break apart.
When asphalt is new and fresh, it is black in color. Over time, the sub-grade will cause oxidation which will turn black asphalt gray. As the asphalt ages and turns a lighter and lighter gray, it is time to sealcoat the asphalt. This will protect and prolong the life of the asphalt. When the asphalt fades in color it is time for some maintenance.
Long, Large Cracks in Asphalt
Long cracks in the asphalt demand immediate repair. When cracks are wider than ¼ of an inch they can allow water to seep underneath the asphalt and ruin the sub-grading. Cracks can be filled in which will prevent damages from occurring beneath the asphalt. Cracks can be repaired fairly quickly, so never hesitate to seek professional repair service when cracks form.