There’s nothing quite like freshly paved asphalt. Unfortunately, the novelty wears off over time, and so does its durability. The more time that passes and the varying conditions, the more cracks can surface, which in turn can cause a multitude of problems. Additionally, consumers will be less likely to drive on an asphalt roadway or enter a parking lot if there is significant damage which will hurt the local economy and companies. So what are the leading causes of cracked asphalt, and how can it be fixed?
There are many culprits when it comes to wear and tear on asphalt roads, but the most common is, unfortunately, unavoidable. Environmental conditions such as the weather and temperature are the primary cause of asphalt deterioration. Insufficient drainage systems or existing surface cracks can allow water to penetrate the layers, compromising the structural integrity and leading to cracks. Fluctuating temperatures also result in cracking due to the asphalt expanding and contracting in response. This is especially true in regions with extreme variations in climate.
Outside of environmental conditions, the rest of the asphalt damages can be attributed to heavy traffic loads and poor construction and maintenance practices. The weight of large vehicles such as semi-trucks and buses can gradually weaken the road surface. This can be worse in areas where the roadbed isn’t as sturdy, and a lack of maintenance will significantly weaken the road as well.
On the flip side, asphalt roads also just naturally age over time. Yet another unavoidable condition, the binder that holds the asphalt together, will begin to deteriorate, causing the road to be increasingly vulnerable to cracks.
With all of these varying conditions, it’s no wonder that our asphalt is so susceptible to damage. However, even though cracking and other forms of deterioration are inevitable, there are various ways to repair them. Whether the cracks are big or small, you can rely on one of the following methods to repair the asphalt area.
Crack Sealing: an effective preventive measure against further damage. This method involves filling cracks with a specialized sealant, creating a waterproof barrier that keeps moisture from seeping further down. It’s crucial to seal cracks promptly to prevent them from widening.
Patch Repairs: for more minor cracks, patch repairs are a cost-effective solution. This process entails removing damaged sections and replacing them with fresh asphalt, ensuring a seamless and crack-free surface.
Resurfacing: When cracks are widespread and the road surface significantly deteriorates, overlaying or resurfacing the road is a practical option. Applying a new layer of asphalt over the existing surface rejuvenates the road, providing a fresh and smooth driving experience.
From roadways to parking lots to personal driveways, understanding the factors behind cracked asphalt and implementing efficient repair methods is vital for ensuring long-lasting durability. To maintain the appearance and functionality of your asphalt, make use of the repair techniques listed above, and don’t hesitate to seek advice from a reliable asphalt professional if you have any questions. Don’t put off asphalt repairs as they could lead to larger issues!