3 Things that Can Cause Damage to Asphalt Pavement
Asphalt is the most common material used for paving applications these days, and you’ll see it everywhere from driveways to sidewalks to roadways. It has some tremendous advantages in that it can be extremely durable and long-lasting, as well as having considerable physical appeal. However, there are some agents which can have a significant negative impact on asphalt, and work to degrade it so that its effectiveness is reduced. Here are three of the most commonly occurring agents which can cause asphalt to deteriorate and lose its usefulness.
You might not think of water as being harmful to anything, except in the form of a downpour or a flood, but standing water can cause serious damage to asphalt. When an asphalt surface has been well designed such that water easily drains away, most asphalt surfaces won’t sustain any kind of water damage. However, when water is allowed to pool up on asphalt surface and stay there for a long period of time, it can certainly reduce the longevity of the asphalt. Water has a way of expanding cracks and creating potholes because it seeps into the asphalt and weakens the base material. Because water can be so damaging to asphalt, a new kind of asphalt has been developed which is known as porous asphalt. This type of asphalt allows water, melted ice, and rain to simply run right through it to the ground underneath. This significantly reduces the possibility for any kind of damaging absorption which would happen to standard asphalt. You can also avoid the worst type of water damage by periodically sealcoating your asphalt surface.
Oil and fuel spills
There are other liquids besides water which can impart major damage to an asphalt surface, those being oil, fuel, and chemicals. Any of these can cause a rapid deterioration of an asphalt pavement, because they can penetrate the surface of the asphalt, causing it to crumble and soften. If any type of spill like this is quickly cleaned up and treated, minimal damage will occur because it doesn’t have time to be absorbed into the asphalt and weaken the interior. However, any type of spill which is left in place indefinitely will more than likely penetrate the surface and cause serious damage to the asphalt. You can avoid this by regularly inspecting your asphalt surface to make sure there are no spills of fuel, oil, or chemicals which have occurred. This will save you all kinds of time and money on having to carry out expensive repairs to your asphalt surface.
Heavy trucks and vehicles
Any time heavy trucks or vehicles are allowed to track over the surface of an asphalt pavement for a long period of time, it will inevitably lead to the development of wheel paths which can create ruts. Even in driveways where heavy duty trucks are routinely being parked, the sheer weight of the vehicles can eventually cause damage to the structure of the asphalt and lead to deterioration. The best way to avoid premature or excessive deterioration of asphalt from heavy duty vehicles is to make sure that it’s properly installed. When asphalt is laid down with the appropriate base, it is much better able to withstand the forces operating against it, even if that includes extremely heavy vehicles. Asphalt surfaces which are quickly installed and lack an adequate base are simply not able to stand up to the powerful forces of heavy weights which are placed on them. To be sure your asphalt surface gets installed in the proper manner, you should only deal with a reputable contractor whom other individuals have had good experiences and good service from.