What You Don’t Know
What you don’t know about your pavement could be costing you money! Preventative maintenance is the key to making your pavement investment last. Our guide below should help evaluate your pavement and identify specific tasks to improve its condition and increase its value.
These all too common pests can be the result of poor drainage, pipe failure, insufficient asphalt depth or base, or a lack of proper maintenance. Not only are these bowl-shaped holes of various sizes unsightly, they are also a liability – risking damage to vehicles and creating a trip hazard to pedestrians.
Polished aggregate is caused when raveling exposes the surface of the larger rocks in the pavement. Repeat traffic polishes the tops of the rocks creating a slick, unsafe surface. This also makes it difficult for asphalt sealcoat or any other treatment to adhere to the slick pavement.
Gas and Oil Stains
Gas and Oil Stains are unavoidable in most parking areas. The high volume of parked vehicles all but guarantees that at some point your asphalt will fall victim to an unsightly stain. The problem is much bigger than simply being unsightly, however. Oil and gasoline can destroy your parking lot. The liquid corrodes the very chemical make-up of the asphalt, resulting in potholes and weak spots.
Also referred to as birdbaths, these localized low areas are limited in size and often indicated by standing water. Generally speaking, these are caused by heavier traffic than the original pavement design intended, weak spots in the base material, or localized subsurface drainage issues.
Corrugation or Rutting
Corrugation or rutting is a fairly regular pattern of wave-like bumps across your pavement surface. This can be caused by instability in the asphalt or asphalt base, or by the presence of heavier traffic than the original pavement design intended. For instance, the regular traffic from waste management vehicles pulling in and out often causes the asphalt to shove or push up into ruts.
To understand cracking, one must understand asphalt. A good analogy would be to think of asphalt as icing on a cake. The icing is only as good as the cake it sits on. Similarly with asphalt, it’s only as good as the base it sits on. Most cracks are formed from underneath the asphalt and reflect up through the asphalt. Understand there are more variables that go into the equation – such as water, oxidation and traffic. By nature, asphalt is designed to be a flexible pavement. This makes it more forgiving than concrete. When asphalt is new, it is able to handle slight movements in the base, such as settling, but as asphalt ages from exposure to water, the sun and other elements, it begins to lose its flexibility, becoming brittle. Instead of giving in unstable areas, it is more likely to crack.
A series of interconnecting cracks spread over a portion of your pavement in a pattern resembling the skin of an alligator. This is the most severe cracking and can create the most problems, costing the most money, if not fixed.
Numerous cracks spaced evenly apart and running parallel to one another.
Cracks that show through an asphalt overlay. These cracks literally reflect the cracking pattern on an existing asphalt base that has been resurfaced without being properly repaired or crack-filled.
Raveling is the on-going separation of aggregate particles from the pavement’s surface. It is easily identified by the constant presence of a thin layer of sand on the surface of your asphalt. Contrary to popular belief, the sand is not washing out from the surrounding landscaping. Water penetration and oxidation actually cause raveling from the asphalt mix.