Asphalt distress can lead to major problems if not corrected early on. Signs of asphalt stress can vary and is important to know what to look for. You can prevent major asphalt damages if you are able to identify signs of asphalt distress. Andersen Asphalt & Striping will share some of the common signs of asphalt distress and when you should seek asphalt repairs.
One common sign of asphalt distress is when the surface begins to turn a gray or brownish color. Asphalt, while developing discoloration, indicates as to when it begins to oxidize. Oxidation will lead to asphalt breaking down and it will begin to crumble. When asphalt oxidizes it will appear gray or brown in color. When the asphalt begins to change color, you will want to seek asphalt services. They can perform an asphalt resurfacing which will prevent further oxidation and extend the life of the asphalt.
What is Raveling in Asphalt?
When the asphalt has a lot of loose gravel and sand like pieces, the asphalt is raveling. Raveling occurs when the asphalt’s binder begins to break down. Raveling is the result of oxidation occurring in the asphalt. Asphalt is made up of aggregates, rocks, and sand which is held together by a type of asphalt glue which is called the binder. The binder can break down and oxidize due to the UV rays of the sun. The aggregates will unravel and now you have loose pieces of rock, gravel and sand. Raveling is a clear sign the asphalt is distressed and needs professional attention.
Cracks in Asphalt
Modern or newer asphalt is more flexible which allows the asphalt to flex under the weight of traffic. When oxidation occurs the asphalt will become much less flexible and more stiff. Once the asphalt becomes stiff, it cannot flex with the weight of traffic and as a result, it causes cracks to form. Cracks not only make roads bumpy but it will allow moisture to seep to the underlayer and displaced the asphalt’s foundation. Cracks can also lead to the formation of potholes.
How to Prevent Asphalt Distress
When asphalt is distressed it is usually due to oxidation. To prevent damages from occurring due to oxidation, you can resurface or sealcoat the asphalt. Sealcoating helps to protect and holds asphalt together. If cracks have formed they can be filled in to prevent water from entering and damaging the asphalt structure. It is important to identify early signs of asphalt distress to prevent major repair or replacement of the asphalt. With the right action distressed asphalt can be repaired and saved, extending the life of the asphalt. A professional contractor can better determine which course of action will be needed to repair and save the asphalt. Depending on the condition and age of the asphalt, your distress may be a sign to replace the asphalt. However, younger asphalt should be kept maintained and as soon as signs of distress appear.