Signs Your Asphalt Base Is Washing Away & How To Help Prevent It From Happening

Signs Your Asphalt Base Is Washing Away

The base beneath your asphalt provides necessary stability. If the asphalt base is washing away you will notice entire chunks of asphalt coming loose and surfaces may become uneven.

The natural ageing process of asphalt involves oxidation from exposure to oxygen and ultraviolet rays. The oxidation process alters the chemistry of asphalt, so that it becomes more brittle, less adhesive and less flexible. If the weather is cold, this creates the perfect conditions for cracks to form. When enough water creeps inside of these cracks it will actually start to wash away the base materials, leading to a number of stability issues.

This can occur to properly constructed asphalt with a solid subgrade, especially if routine maintenance is not kept up with. It is even more likely to impact improperly constructed asphalt with a weak subgrade. Improperly stabilized subgrade will result in a number of issues with your asphalt. If the subgrade or base is not strong enough, heavy traffic will ruin surfaces and ultimately lead to complete failure.

How Long Does Asphalt Last?

Asphalt surfaces typically last between 8 and 10 years on RESIDENTIAL properties. When dealing with commercial properties, these numbers fluctuate based upon wear and tear and how well you keep up with overall maintenance.

Factors that’ll influence your asphalt’s longevity include:

-Freeze-thaw cycles

-Weather in your area

-How many heavy trucks drive over surfaces on a daily basis.

-How much traffic surfaces uphold day after day.

-How thick your asphalt is

-The condition of the subgrade

Asphalt doesn’t typically start to show much signs of ageing until as long as a year after it’s installed. Commercial locations with heavier traffic may start to see fading and other signs of wear and tear sooner. Yet, oxidation doesn’t really start until around 12 months post-installation, at which point surfaces will lighten, losing that deep dark color they start out with. At this point, you could add a seal coat to surfaces in order to enhance appearances and help protect surfaces from additional wear and tear.

A few years down the road, the sand inside of asphalt starts to wiggle out, and it doesn’t take long for loose gravel to surface. From here, potholes and larger cracks will develop. Cracked or caved asphalt can be repaired in most cases.

The Importance Of Asphalt Base

Your asphalt is only as good as the base it sits on. You want to pave on a firm, stable and well-drained crushed aggregate base over a thin asphalt overlay. New pavement should always be poured over a firm and unyielding base. The prime coat is applied in order to bond loose materials on the surface to the base, providing necessary adhesion between the base and the surface material.

How To Protect Your Asphalt Base & Surfaces

-Conduct repairs on cracks, potholes, drainage and other signs of damage as soon as possible.

-Hire trusted professionals to install asphalt surfaces for the best chances at long lasting surfaces. You don’t want a wet clay, soggy or unstable base; otherwise it will not support the asphalt and result in failure. A good stone base is adamant to asphalt longevity, as is quality construction practices.

-Employ the right drainage systems to prevent standing water. Water should drain away from pavement to help prevent water from seeping beneath the surface layer and reaching the base.

Signs Your Asphalt Was Not Properly Installed

Asphalt will naturally break down over time; it’s part of the natural process. BUT premature breakdown of materials is not normal, such as:

-If you notice loose grave and cracking on asphalt that is less than one year old. 

-Potholes appear within the first few years. 

These problems often boil down to a faulty installation job that did not set up surfaces for success. Perhaps asphalt was applied during the wrong weather conditions, or the right base was not secured before pouring asphalt.

To Repair Or Replace Damaged Asphalt?

If the base of your asphalt remains strong, you can repair cracked, stained or otherwise damaged surfaces. If the asphalt base has washed away, it usually requires complete replacement. Without a solid foundation there’s no way for asphalt to withstand normal wear and tear.

Let Us Assess Your Asphalt

Kleenco Construction proudly works with some of the biggest commercial companies in the US. We offer asphalt repairs and installation that surpass the competition in every way possible. Let our experienced experts take a look at your asphalt to pinpoint problems, as well as the most cost-effective and efficient solution to fix it.