As the pavement continues to age, the asphalt binder "glue" used to hold the aggregate (sand and stone particles) in the asphalt deteriorates to the point that it can no longer perform. The aggregate starts to loosen and become dislodged from the pavement
Raveling causes your pavement to take on an extremely rough appearance. Overtime, your pavement wears thinner and thinner as more binder and aggregate is lost due to aging and oxidation.
Because of the rough texture, more wear is caused on vehicle tires, shoes, and plows. Injuries can also be more severe on this type of surface.
At this stage, it is crucial to sealcoat the pavement to restore the appearance of the pavement, as well as fill in the voids left behind by the aggregate loosening up. You can help stop pavement deterioration at this stage if effective action is taken immediately.
Linear Cracks In Asphalt Pavement
Linear Cracks, also known as transverse and longitudinal cracks are fairly common in aging pavement. These cracks typically start off small and expand over time. As the crack remains open, water is able to penetrate bellow the pavement surface into the base material. This causes further pavement damage and problems.
Cracks in your blacktop surface also fill with sand, dirt and debris. These incompressible materials spread the length of the crack and accelerate the deterioration of your surfaces. As pavement expands and contracts during hot and cold cycles, the incompressible materials in the crack have nowhere to flex and the pressure exerted causes the crack to expand.
As this process continues, the edges of the crack also crumble. This expands the width of the crack, and a small hairline crack will eventually grow to a 1/4, 1/2 inch and can ultimately reach an inch or more.
This solution for this problem is to clean any dirt and debris in the cracks and seal the cracks using a premium grade hot applied rubberized crack sealer. This effectively eliminates water seepage bellow the pavement and helps stop the growth of the crack.
By sealcoating your pavement early on, you help lock-in the flexible asphalt binder that ensures your pavement remains flexible. During hot and cold temperature extremes, this flexibility will play an important role in eliminating the amount and severity of cracks.
Alligatoring, Check Cracking, Spider Web Cracking - Beginning Stages
When cracks are left unfilled, the allow water penetration to enter the sub base of the material and soften it up. Without a good base, the asphalt is more prone to failure.
Water penetration and softening of the material leads to a condition known as alligator cracking, also known as spider web or check cracking. This is because the pavement surface resembles the skin of an alligator or a spider web.
Occasionally this problem is also caused by improper base installation and compaction during the paving process. It can also be caused by exceeding the weight limits the pavement surface was originally designed for.
During the beginning stages, this problem, if caught early, can be addressed in a relatively inexpensive way by utilizing a premium grade crack sealer to "hold" the pavement together and eliminate further water seepage. But in most cases, at this stage, the best long-term, permanent repair is to cut the pavement out just beyond the damaged area, re-compact the base material, and patch the area using a fresh hot-mix asphalt blend.
Extensive Alligator Cracks / Check Cracking / Spider Web Cracking
Left untreated, alligator cracks will ultimately expand and cause irreversible damage to your pavement. If these damaged areas are isolated in a few areas, cutting out and patching the area is still a viable option.
If your parking area has numerous areas that look like this that cover more than 50% of the total parking surface, the damage is too extensive to repair. With extensive alligator cracking, the only solution is to remove the old pavement surface, apply new base material, re-grade, and completely replace the surface by re-paving.
The key to maximizing your pavement investment is to address minor issues through strategic and preventative maintenance before the damage becomes severe and more costly.
At this stage, the pavement is a pothole waiting to happen. As soon as one of the small pavement pieces becomes dislodged by water, vehicle traffic or a snow plow - the rest will soon follow. This ultimately compromises the surface of the asphalt and a pothole is formed. As more broken pieces of asphalt become dislodged, the pothole will become larger and larger.
Weed, Grass And Vegetation Growth
When cracks, gaps and joints are left unfilled, an ideal condition exists to harbor the growth of various vegetation, weeds and grass. The dirt, debris, and soil in the cracks provide an ideal environment for vegetation growth in the cracks of the pavement surface.
This vegetation roots itself deep in your pavement, and as it grows, causes the crack to expand in both width and length. It also provides an ideal entry point for water penetration that could lead to more extensive damage noted above.
The solution is to burn the weeds with a torch if needed, and remove the vegetation, roots and dirt with a gas powered edger with a wire wheel attachment. After the crack is clean, applying a hot rubberized crack sealer will help prevent further vegetation growth and eliminate water seepage bellow the pavement.
The Best Solution
The best solution to the above problems is to implement our strategic preventative maintenance services early on.