Tips For Diagnosing Asphalt Issues
High-quality asphalt that has been installed correctly is going to last for quite some time. As a material, asphalt is inexpensive and easy to maintain. Whether you had it installed for a parking lot, pathway, or roadway, you can get 20-25 years out of it. However, without proper maintenance, their life expectancy decreases significantly. Part of keeping up on maintenance is knowing how to diagnose problems quickly.
1. Look for Alligator Cracks
You’ll know alligator cracks when you see them because they look like the hide of an alligator. These are created by structural issues that are exacerbated by fluctuations in temperature, erosion, insufficient composition, and settling. If the cracks are caught early, we can seal or patch them, but if they have been spreading for a while and become too severe, it might be time to repave.
2. Check Around the Edges
Edge cracking is typically due to insufficient base support or poor drainage. You’ll notice it, as the name implies, around the edges of your parking lot or pathway. Patches and crack sealers are the typical fixes, but we would also have to address the root cause of the edge cracks.
3. Watch Out for Raveling
Most often, raveling occurs when asphalt is installed in cooler temperatures and results in loose gravel and uneven surfaces. Raveling comes initially from poor compaction, so it’s easy to recognize when you have areas that are crumbling. We can both seal and patch the area to get it fixed.
4. Look for Potholes
We all know what potholes are, whether we’ve hit one with the car or tripped on one while walking to your car. Potholes often lead to other cracks and damages that eventually result in the need to repave. Ideally, we would like to stop the pothole in its tracks by repairing the area with a deep patch before it gets out of hand.
5. Check for Washboarding
If you notice a rippled pattern in your asphalt, you have discovered washboarding. This often occurs when the asphalt has been poorly developed, causing the upper layer to move over the lower layer. An asphalt patch can often resolve this, but it also serves as a reminder to hire a trusted, qualified company for the initial installation.