- 94% of U.S. roads are surfaced with asphalt.
- Common asphalt damage includes alligator cracking, potholes, and edge breaks.
- Asphalt Contractors can fix this damage by milling, patching, and resurfacing.
- Preventative maintenance is the best way to keep your pavement in good condition and avoid costly repairs.
Asphalt is a popular material used for paving roads, parking lots, and driveways in the U.S. According to reports, 94% of U.S. roads are paved with asphalt. That’s more than nine times the distance between the earth and the moon.
Although asphalt is a popular paving material, it still doesn’t mean it’s highly durable. Over time, driveways and parking lots can develop much damage from vehicle loads & general wear and tear, which would require immediate fixing.
As a property owner, you may know some of the more common pavement damage types. But, some damages are not always easy to tell visually; hence, you can never tell when you need a contractor for repairs.
Standard Striping Inc will look at how asphalt contractors typically handle different types of pavement damage. We’ll also give you tips on retaining your asphalt pavement’s condition for longer.
Common Asphalt Damage in Parking Lots and Driveways
1. Alligator Cracking
Also known as fatigue or “crocodile cracking,” alligator cracks are small cracks that branch out from a central point. They got the name as they resemble the skin of an alligator. Alligator cracks are usually caused by weakened areas in the asphalt that can’t handle traffic or poor drainage.
Alligator cracking is visually unappealing and can quickly become potholes if left untreated. They can also cause accidents as they can be trip hazards.
Potholes are one of the most common types of damage on asphalt pavement. They occur when water drips into cracks in the pavement and then freezes and expands, weakening the asphalt. The weight of traffic then causes the weakened asphalt to collapse and form a pothole.
Just like alligator cracking, potholes are unsightly and can cause damage to vehicles. According to U.S. reports, drivers have to suffer $3 billion worth of damages each year just because of potholes.
3. Edge Cracks
Edge cracks are formed at the edges of the pavement, where the asphalt meets the shoulder of the road. Edge cracks can be caused by several factors, including inadequate drainage, poor-quality paving materials, and excessive traffic.
Depressions are small, bowl-shaped indentations on the pavement surface. Usually, water pools into depressions which gives them the name “birdbaths.” Inadequate drainage and poor paving material are the top reasons for their occurrence.
It is a type of pavement distress that refers to the formation of tire tracks on the pavement surface. Several factors, including inadequate drainage and poor asphalt mix, are the reasons for rutting.
Asphalt contractors can fix these pavement damage types by milling, resurfacing, or due to lack of compaction during installation.
Raveling is the process by which pavement surface aggregate (the small stones that make up the asphalt) starts to lose. Several factors, including poor-quality paving materials, excessive traffic, and weathering, resulted in the asphalt condition.
Asphalt Contractor Solutions to the Pavement Damage Types
Asphalt can get damaged in several ways, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad pavement material. Here are different solutions asphalt contractors recommend for fixing the common issues:
1. Asphalt Paving
It is the most common solution that contractors recommend in dealing with several problems. Asphalt paving allows installing a new layer of asphalt on the driveway or parking lot. It removes all issues such as alligator cracking, potholes, edge cracks, depression, rutting, and raveling.
It’s best to go for paving if you’re dealing with problems like potholes, depressions, or several asphalt problems altogether.
2. Crack Filling
Crack filling is ideal for dealing with cracks that are less than a half-inch wide. The method involves injecting specialized materials into the cracks. The material used depends on the width and depth of the crack.
This solution doesn’t work for all types of cracks, such as Alligator cracks. Have your asphalt driveway or parking lot inspected by a professional contractor to know whether the crack filling is the way to go.
Patching is recommended for repairing localized depressions, potholes, traveling, and small areas of surface-level degradation. It’s a quick-fix solution that is also relatively affordable.
3. Concrete Paving
Concrete is another alternative for paving. The material is more durable and rigid compared to asphalt. Concrete paving is the way to go if you’re looking for other options to protect your driveway or parking lot. But you should note that the alternative is an expensive choice.
Tips To Maintain Asphalt Driveways and Parking Lots
Although these paving solutions can keep your asphalt driveway and parking lot in good shape for a long time, there are still ways to help increase its lifespan. Here are tips from asphalt contractors:
1. Clean the Pavement Regularly
You can free your pavement from dirt and stains by sweeping off leaves, twigs, and other debris. You can also use a pressure washer to remove tough dirt and grime. Make sure not to use too much pressure, as it can damage the asphalt.
2. Seal Coat the Pavement
Seal coating is a process where a protective layer is applied to the pavement. This layer can help protect the asphalt from U.V. rays, water, and other elements that can cause damage.
3. Sweep Snow and Ice Immediately
When snow and ice accumulate on the pavement, it can cause damage when it melts and refreezes. That’s why removing snow and ice is essential as soon as possible. You can use a shovel or snow blower to remove the snow and an ice melt product to remove the ice.
4. Fix Cracks Right Away
If you notice any cracks on your pavement, it’s essential to have them repaired immediately. Doing so can prevent the cracks from getting larger and causing more damage.
Asphalt damage is inevitable. But by taking the proper precautions, you can help to prevent it. And when damage does occur, be sure to have it repaired immediately by a professional asphalt contractor.
Asphalt Paving Solutions by Professional in Pasadena, MD!
If you need asphalt paving solutions, look no further than Standard Striping Inc. We have experienced professionals who have extensive years working in the paving industry. We specialize in both commercial and residential projects.
Get in touch with us to get a free estimate.