Recognizing Different Asphalt Failures And How To Repair Them
When it comes to driveway materials, asphalt pavement is highly desirable among homeowners for a lot of reasons. Asphalt provides a durable, smooth surface that can withstand changes in the weather, such as temperature fluctuations and moisture. However, just as it is with any construction material, asphalt is not absolutely full-proof or permanent. Over time, you can see signs that something is wrong with your asphalt drive. Here are a few of the most common failures and how they should be addressed.
Sinks, Potholes, and Dips
Of all of the issues that can become apparent with asphalt, sinks, potholes, and dips are often the most common. This issue is generally caused by a compromise in the underlying structure of the pavement. For example, if the surface area was not well-prepared before the asphalt was installed, water may make its way beneath a certain area and cause erosion, which can cause the upper layers of the pavement to sink. This can of course be patched, but until the underlying issue is resolved, you will continue to see the same issues.
Cracks and Breakage
Cracks that start to form in asphalt pavement can easily spread throughout the structure of the dive. Cracks are usually caused by shifts in the underlying ground or extreme variations in temperature that can cause the ground to shrink or expand. Because small cracks can easily become a big problem, it is best to address them quickly either with a professional or on your on with a thick layer of sealcoat material, which contains tar and polymers to fill in small cracks and crevices.
Many homeowners make the mistake of trying to install new asphalt over massive cracks and breakage points without addressing the underlying problem or removing loose debris. This can lead to something known in the asphalt industry as responsive fragility, which is a reflection on the upper layer of what is taking place below. Unfortunately, this is not usually an easy fix and should be tackled by a professional asphalt contractor to ensure the failure in structure is not carried on with a new layer.
When you know what types of issues can arise with asphalt paving, they will be much easier to handle if one ever comes up. If you are ever in doubt about the root cause of an issue, be sure to consult a professional about the best route to take for repairs.