How To Maintain An Asphalt Pavement?


Maintaining an asphalt pavement can seem like an overwhelming task filled with perplexing questions and sudden issues popping up. However, with the right knowledge and consistent care, you can keep your asphalt surface in good working order for many years. This article will explore some of the most important maintenance tasks and provide helpful tips for tackling issues as they arise.

Inspect Regularly For Problems

The first step is to regularly inspect your asphalt surface, especially after major weather events. It’s easy to miss small cracks or problems, but catching them early is key. Plan to carefully walk the entire pavement about once a month, keeping an eye out for anything amiss. Pay close attention to foundations, drainage areas, and high-traffic zones where wear will show first. Document any findings so you can track if problems grow or burst forth suddenly.

Address Cracks Promptly

Cracks in asphalt can develop for many reasons like soil settlement, weather damage, or overloading. Ignoring cracks may seem like the easiest path, but it allows water to penetrate and worsens the damage internally. The longer you wait, the more perplexing and expensive the repair may become. For hairline cracks less than 1/4 inch wide, use a crack-filling sealant that expands to keep water out. Wider cracks may require patching with asphalt material. Consult for help evaluating cracks and scheduling repairs.

Stay On Top Of Sealcoating

A protective seal coat acts as an asphalt “conditioner” and shields against water, sunlight, and other aging factors. It prevents cracks from further developing unexpectedly. Most experts recommend reapplying seal coating every 3-5 years, or more often in harsh climates. Do not let your pavement go without seal coating longer than 5 years, or you may find deterioration has reached a point of no return with no clear solution. Stick to a regular seal coating schedule and maintenance will be much less perplexing down the road.

Beware Of Sprinklers And Drainage Issues

Two common culprits that can puzzle asphalt owners are improper sprinkler coverage and drainage problems. Sprinklers that spray pavement instead of planting beds cause premature wear and create hazardous slip hazards. Adjust heads or install rain sensors to prevent this. Standing water also breaks down asphalt from below. Make sure drainage slopes away from the pavement and downspouts, gutters run clear. Fix any low spots or puddles that linger with additional aggregate or patching as needed to eliminate perplexing puddles.

Dealing With Spalling And Potholes

Sometimes concrete fragments will break off or pop out of the asphalt surface in a process called spalling. This usually occurs due to rusting rebar or poor subbase compaction. Potholes are small depressions that form and burst open without warning. Both issues need prompt repair to avoid further deterioration or damage claims. For small holes, use asphalt patch or cold patch material available at most home centers. Larger holes may require cutting, base replacement, and repaving by a professional. Stay on top of any spalling or potholes before they multiply and become a real headache to fix.

Consider Strengthening Your Base

One way to eliminate a lot of perplexing pavement maintenance issues is to ensure the underlying base is thick and stable enough. Over time, constant wheel loads and weather can cause the base to settle or compact unevenly which then telegraphs through to the surface. A process called full-depth reclamation remixes and recompacts the existing material to like-new condition. Contact companies for an evaluation – they can often strengthen your base for a fraction of the full replacement cost which may otherwise burst your budget. A sturdy base means less chance for cracks and settling to surprise you later.

Consider Replacement For Very Old Pavements

After 15-25 years depending on use and care, an asphalt surface may have reached the end of its useful lifespan. Severe cracking, rutting, wheel path wear, and base failures can point to this need for replacement instead of further repairs. Replacing rather than patching perpetually may save money in the long run and eliminate further perplexing breakdowns. It also allows upgrading aspects like adding drainage, reinforcement fabric, or adding a thicker asphalt section. Work with an experienced paving contractor to evaluate your situation and design a durable, long-lasting replacement.

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