Asphalt pavement is a great option for any road, parking lot, driveway, or a number of other paved surfaces. When installed properly and given maintenance in the right way, it can last many years. There are, however, a few reasons that asphalt gets destroyed and damaged over time. If you are unaware of the problems, it could lead to costly repairs and replacements. With asphalt contractors like us on your side, you can rest easy that you will receive the best asphalt services in the Columbus area!
What is Asphalt?
Asphalt is the best option for roads, driveways, and parking lots. Because of its composition, it is a great cost-effective option that can be repaired easily and will last many years. Asphalt is a sustainable paving solution made from a mixture of aggregates, binder, and filler. It’s sustainable because it can be recycled and reused, and it actually can be more durable compared to new asphalt. Aggregates consist of processed mineral materials like crushed rock, sand, gravel, slags, or various recycled materials. A cohesive mixture is formed when binder is used to unite the aggregates together, Bitumen is most commonly used as the binder. Asphalt pavement consists of multiple layers which include unbound and bituminous-bound materials acting as the base for the asphalt concrete poured on top.
What Are the Uses for Asphalt?
Asphalt has many important uses! Typically, it is used for asphalt driveways, roads, and parking lots. Because it can easily be repaired and is extremely durable, it is a great option for those needing pavement services. Asphalt is also an environmentally-friendly option. Reused asphalt is not just sustainable, it’s more durable than brand-new pavement. There are also several uncommon uses of asphalt. It is sometimes used for dams, reservoirs, playgrounds, and parks. Ohio farmers sometimes use asphalt to line the bottom of their retention ponds that serve as a home to raise fish and are also placed in livestock containment pens. It can also be used as a solution for flood control and soil erosion in some areas.
How Asphalt Gets Destroyed
If not maintained properly, asphalt will get damaged and destroyed. It is important to know the different ways this can happen, and applying it to your situation can mean the difference between costly repairs and replacements and years of durable pavement. Some of the most common reasons include UV rays, oxidation, heavy vehicles, water, and oil stains.
The binder that holds asphalt (rock, sand, and aggregates) together acts like a type of glue. When exposed to UV rays over a long period of time, the binder starts to break down. When there’s nothing holding the rock, sand, and aggregates together, raveling occurs on the surface of the pavement. The #1 sign that your asphalt is breaking down is an accumulation of loose gravel.
When your asphalt is fresh, it has a black charcoal color and has the ability to flex under different traffic loads. Over time, when it is exposed to oxygen, your asphalt will turn from black to gray. When this happens, the asphalt is broken down and loses some of the flexibility that allows it to perform so well under heavy traffic.
Heavy vehicles such as semis, delivery trucks, or garbage trucks put a lot of weight and strain on asphalt. If oxidation has started, your asphalt will behind to crack once it has to hold these heavy loads.
Water has many ways of getting into the cracks of asphalt pavement. Whether it’s rainwater, snowmelt, water from people washing their cars, the vase course of your pavement will be damaged when the integrity of your asphalt is compromised. Drainage from underground water is also a contributing factor. When these things occur, your pavement’s ability to perform well under heavy loads is greatly reduced. If it becomes structural damage, then repaving will be needed to permanently fix the issue.
Parked cars can sometimes leak oil. The oil stains left behind will eat through and degrade your asphalt. It’s important to address this issue in a timely manner as oil stains can become saturated and very hard to repair.
How to Protect
Asphalt, compared to concrete, it does not flake and is, therefore, less likely to crack. There are ways that it can be damaged though, and it is important to protect it from these potential threats. Doing so will result in many years of reliable and durable pavement.
Sealcoating is something that should be done about 2 years after the initial installation. Sealcoating will prolong the life of your pavement and ensure the integrity of your asphalt for years to come. Seal coating contains chemical properties that stave off normal wear and tear, so there are many instances when it is the best option. Asphalt is a flexible pavement that’s made to move, and seal coating helps maintain those attributes. From seal coating and crack filling to completely repaving, our trained experts can evaluate your specific needs and make a recommendation based on those findings.
Asphalt Crack & Hole Repair
When cracks or holes are noticed, they should be repaired. It’s as simple as that. Contact an expert paving contractor as soon as you can to repair any cracks and holes that you may see. If they aren’t filled properly, they can spread and lead to much bigger issues that will be more costly. Every vehicle that drives over your asphalt cracks will weaken it and the chances you will need major repairs increase. Aside from filling the cracks, we will block off that portion of asphalt so that no vehicle will pass over it until we are 100% certain it is safe to do so.
Water is the enemy of your pavement. A catch basin will greatly reduce the chance that water damage will occur. Catch basins are strategically engineered and located to ensure that water leaves the lot in a timely manner. Before starting any asphalt work, we will examine the condition of your catch basins to determine if they need to be maintained or rebuilt.
The durability of your asphalt pavement depends on the maintenance you do to it. Contact our experts today to ensure the long life of your asphalt!