What Causes Asphalt Damages

Holes in the pavement are a result of either asphalt hot mix paving fatigue or by base failure. Both are generally a result of water infiltration between the layers which is then forced apart by freeze/thaw cycles. Pavement repairs are required much more often in the north than in the south due to these freeze/thaw cycles. The more fluctuation we have in temperature about the below freezing, the more potholes will form.

What are “Pot Holes”?

The most commonly used phrase to describe asphalt damages is “pot hole”.  The term “pot hole” is a general term used by everyone to describe paving problems. Any area exceeding 5’ in diameter is usually referred to as a CRATER!  The only method to keep the potholes from forming is to prevent water infiltration through the asphalt. That is where we come in. Not only can we help you fix any “pot holes” but we can help you prevent further damages in the future.

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Types of Asphalt Damages

Alligator Cracking: There are three types of alligator cracking used to identify the severity level of damaged. For our purpose, we are going to use two; modernity and severe.

Moderate Alligator is cracking of the asphalt into irregular and square shaped pieces on the surface which remain in tack and have less than 2” in surface deflection over the width of the cracked area.

Severe Alligator Cracking is cracking of the asphalt into irregular and square shaped pieces on the surface which have ¼” in width or wider cracks between pieces and are loose (can be moved by foot or wit traffic) and are becoming dislodged.

Surface Raveling: This is a result of fatigue in the asphalt surface course only. As asphalt paving ages, the liquid AC in the mix deteriorates. You will see isolated holes or depressions on the surface usually 1-2” in depth. This is a common failure in turn areas throughout the lot on older sites. In some circumstances you will see widespread surface raveling where there is an exceptional amount of loose aggregate on the outside of the turn areas and the surface of the asphalt is very rough.

Base Failure: As stated above, water infiltration into the sub-base and sub-grade is a result of failed asphalt paving. The asphalt paving is the weather and moisture barrier for the base soils and stone. You can identify asphalt base failure by notating if there are surface settlement in the asphalt paving. Also, recurring failure in isolated areas previously repaired.

Rutting of Asphalt:  The rutting of asphalt is most commonly caused by extensive wear to a highly trafficked aria such as a gas station diesel pump or a parking booth, or stop and go traffic in a school pick up driveway. They can also be caused by the deformation of the sub base material.

Repairing Asphalt Damages

When it comes to repairing any asphalt there are usually at least two approaches to discover the best solution. This can best be summed up as temporary and permanent options for the repair. We thoroughly review each project ensuring that the method of repair does in fact meet or exceed the customer’s objective as well as providing options as needed to fit annual budget requirements.  Sometimes the temporary solution is the one that fits the situation best. We also perform a risk and liability assessment to determine the most effective method before starting the repair. Most of the temporary repairs that occur on commercial properties are required due to weather restrictions or urgency.

For example, the most common temporary repair method used for asphalt is application of cold patch asphalt. The difference between hot mix and cold mix is the polymer and aggregate size in the mix. Cold mix asphalt does not require heat in the batching process as hot mix does. Cold mix is NOT a long term replacement for hot mix asphalt but is effective for temporary repairs in most applications. Cold patch works the best on small areas (3’/3’) or smaller. Larger areas can be performed but will most likely require permanent repairs when the weather and availability permit.

While temporary solutions can help in an emergency, it is always best to fully consider a more permanent solution for the repair in question. The most common and permanent solutions for commercial concrete repair are Large Scale Asphalt Milling, Isolated Asphalt Milling, Excavation or possibly Bridging with concrete to stabilize the soil.

With every project we utilize strategic review and planning to efficiently perform the scope of work while minimizing operational impact of your live facility, always coming to you for approval before we move forward. 

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