Q. How can I protect my asphalt investment?
A. Apply a seal coat within six months to one year of installation of new asphalt. Check for cracks and have them filled annually. Any crack, which is ¼-inch or wider in the pavement, will allow moisture to penetrate to the subbase. The goal of a good pavement management plan (PMP) should be to keep the moisture from entering the asphalt pavement. Additionally, we recommend applying sealant every two- to-three years, depending on wear. This will help prevent deterioration of your pavement due to the sun’s rays, gasoline, traffic, and the weather elements.
Q. What are some of the causes of asphalt failure?
A. Some causes include inadequate thickness of the pavement section to support the loads traveling across the asphalt, lack of maintenance, and weak or unstable subgrade components.
Asphalt deteriorates when “fines” aggregates are worn away by weather and traffic. When the “fines” are worn away, there is nothing to bind the larger aggregates together and the surface begins to ravel. This weakens the pavement section and eventually allows water to penetrate the subgrade, which leads to pavement failure.
Q. How does sunlight affect asphalt deterioration?
The sun heats up the binder cement, which depletes the holding characteristics of the chemical compounds in the dried liquid asphalt. This enables the stone to loosen up and fall away into curbsides, ditches, and storm drains.
Q. What causes sink holes near my catch basin?
Water penetrates the basin through gaps in the rings and erodes the stone subbase in the surrounding asphalt. Another cause may be that the stone base adjacent to the basin has settled and cannot support the surrounding asphalt.
Q. Is sealing cracks cost effective?
Yes, proper crack repair procedures can double the life of most asphalt pavements. A surface, which is five to ten years old, will usually need a ton of sealant per lane mile and will last up to ten years.
Q. Can you explain the proper way to repair a pothole or failed area of asphalt?
When asphalt plants are open, the proper repair is as follows: saw cut around the failed area, remove the asphalt, inspect and re-compact the subbase, tack the perimeter walls, install new hot mix asphalt in two lifts compacting after each lift, and then crack seal around the patch to prevent water infiltration around the patch area.