The 10 Phoenix Asphalt Problems Everyone Needs to Know About
Even expertly laid asphalt will eventually fall victim to the ravages of time, showing cracks and other damages. Regular asphalt maintenance can keep these problems at bay and can reduce the amount of repairs you will have to make.
However, if you don’t get the right professional to perform your asphalt paving, you can experience a number of more serious problems down the road, requiring expensive repairs or re-paving.
It is important that you know about common asphalt problems so that you can act quickly to save money. Here are the 10 most common issues your asphalt might suffer:
Despite their cute nickname, these depressions in the pavement can cause serious damage. Depressions, also called bird baths, form a divot in the road that allows water to collect — thus the nickname. That water can weaken the surface and cause severe damage over time.
Depressions are caused by a poor foundation under the asphalt. Weak or uneven spots allow the pavement to collapse slightly, causing the depression.
Minor depressions can be fixed by a surface patch, but major depressions will require that the patch of asphalt be removed and replaced. That area of the subsoil will also have to be fixed.
You’ve probably already had plenty of experience with pot holes on shoddy streets. Pot holes can form from moisture damage from depressions or cracking, and they include damage all the way to the base level of the asphalt.
Regular maintenance by a Phoenix asphalt company can help to prevent potholes. Once they form, however, you will need to invest in a full depth replacement patch.
Alligator cracking is what leads to pot holes. This cracking gets its name from its appearance, which looks like the scales on an alligator’s back because of the lattice of intersecting cracks.
Alligator cracking is caused by the structural failure of the asphalt. It may be caused by a surface or a base that is too thin, by weakness in the surface or the base, or by moisture damage caused by poor drainage.
Because alligator cracking is a sign of structural problems, it cannot be repaired by a simple patch. You must invest in new asphalt paving or full-depth patches, depending on the extent of the problem.
Longitudinal cracks run the length of the pavement, such as down the center of a road or the direction in which a parking lot was laid. Longitudinal cracks can form as a result of poor joint construction or simple pavement fatigue.
Cracks that are only a half inch or less can be filled or sealed to prevent further moisture damage. If more severe cracks are present, the entire surface area of the asphalt must be removed and replaced. Additional structural changes may also need to be made.
Transverse cracks run across the center of the pavement or the direction in which it was laid. They are often caused by reflective cracks in a lower layer of the asphalt. Poor construction during asphalt paving can also lead to these cracks.
The cure for these is the same as longitudinal cracks.
Edges cracks can appear up to a foot or two from the edge of the pavement. Poor support at the edges of the pavement is the most common cause for this problem.
Edges cracks can be repaired by filling or sealing them in most cases. But you will need to address the poor support issues if you are to prevent the problems from recurring.
Slippage cracks take their name from their cause: The slippage of the underlying asphalt layer, which occurs because there is not a strong enough bond between the layers. These cracks look crescent-shaped, so they are easy to identify.
A full-depth patch is required to fix slippage cracks.
Ruts are like depressions, but they are shaped like channels rather than bird baths. Ruts are caused by lateral movement of the layers, which is in turn caused by insufficient thickness, a weak asphalt mix, moisture damage, or poor compaction in the base.
Minor rutting can be fixed with filling and an overlay, but severe rutting requires removal and replacement of the asphalt.
Shoving looks like ripples on the pavement, kind of like a washboard. In fact, the problem is sometimes called “washboarding.”
Severe horizontal stress leads to shoving, particularly at intersections. Errors such as using too much fine aggregate, too much asphalt, too soft an asphalt, or a weak granular base are what allow these problems to develop.
A full-depth patch is typically required to fix shoving, and the repair can be quite costly.
Raveling refers to the separation of aggregate in the asphalt. Typically, the aggregate pulls from the surface downward or from the edges inward. This movement allows the finer aggregate to wear away, and pock marks appear on the surface. The asphalt begins to look very porous.
Raveling can occur when asphalt is laid when the weather is too cold. The asphalt needs plenty of warm traffic to reduce surface voids and knead the asphalt mat.
Fixing raveling may require the application of an overlay of hot-mix asphalt, sand sealing, chip sealing, or microsurfacing.
Whatever your pavement problems, Roadrunner Paving and Asphalt Maintenance can help to repair them. We have decades of experience diagnosing asphalt paving issues, and we know the right solutions to repair the pavement and extend its life span.
Our specialty is paving. We will perform all the necessary site evaluation to ensure that the base is properly prepared and the right asphalt mix is chosen for a long and healthy pavement. Our Phoenix asphalt contractors will get the job done right the first time so you don’t have to invest in new asphalt paving after just a few short years. We also perform asphalt maintenance to keep your pavement in top shape through the years.
Contact us today to learn more about our asphalt paving and asphalt maintenance services.
Roadrunner Paving & Asphalt Maintenance
1959 S Power Rd, Suite 103-419
Mesa, AZ 85206
Phone: (480) 892-7101
Fax: (480) 892-0772
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