5 Common Asphalt Pavement Issues and Solutions for Them

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The durability and cost-effectiveness of asphalt have made it a popular choice for roads, driveways, and parking lots worldwide. However, a lot of factors, including extreme temperatures, high traffic load, and low maintenance can lead to major issues.

Extending the life of your asphalt pavement can be done by performing regular maintenance and repairs, keeping the surface clean, sealcoating, etc. But each problem has a slightly different solution so it’s important to learn the differences.

Here are common defects with asphalt pavements, what causes them, and which asphalt repairs need to be carried out.

Alligator Cracking

Alligator cracking or fatigue cracking is one of the most common reasons for asphalt deterioration over time. This type of cracking resembles the skin of an alligator as it looks dry and cracked.

It can become a lot worse if not given the proper attention. They are often a result of too little pavement thickness, overloading, or a weak base course.

Digging below the surface and strengthening the asphalt’s base is the only permanent solution. 

Edge Cracking

Just like the name suggests, edge cracking occurs at the corners or near some of the sides of the pavement and slowly works its way towards the rest of the asphalt. It typically happens due to a lack of support along the edges or a weak foundation.

If you notice these on your asphalt pavement, it’s crucial to guarantee you have strong internal support to prevent more damage.

For a temporary repair, the cracks can be sealed or filled with cold or hot patches. But for complete repair, removing and reconstructing to full depth with the help of a constructor might be necessary.

Block Cracking

Block cracking is when large square or rectangular crack formations appear on the asphalt pavement. When an insufficient binding agent is used in the asphalt aggregate or the agent dissipates over a period of time, it fails to expand and contract with changes in temperature.

Once it starts in one area of the asphalt, it starts to spread throughout the pavement and can even lead to potholes or worse.

Small block cracks can be fixed by applying a sealer or doing an ordinary patch job. Widespread cracking, on the other hand, requires professional asphalt repair services.

Potholes

As alligator cracking becomes more severe, the interconnected cracks on the asphalt create chunks of pavement that get dislodged as vehicles drive over them. This results in a hole, which we call a pothole.

Potholes are a common and quite dangerous pavement defect. Their rough edges and depth cause thousands of accidents everywhere in the world.

Depending on the size and severity of the pothole, various repair options can be used, including:

  • Spray patching
  • Infrared asphalt patching
  • Asphalt removal and repaving

Depressions

Depressions are a clear indication that your asphalt pavement has a frail structural foundation, weak areas, or a big lack of support in certain spots.

Extremely heavy load capacities and poor construction are also some common causes. If the damage is minimal, then determine the source of the asphalt failure and patch the area.

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