What Causes Asphalt Pavement Deterioration

What Causes Asphalt Pavement DeteriorationWhen you need an asphalt paving surface, you can normally expect it to last 20 to 30 years with proper maintenance and timely repairs. However, some asphalt pavements are still going strong even after 50 or more years, and some asphalt pavements are beyond help within 10 years. Why would some pavements deteriorate long before their time? The answer could be a single cause or a combination of factors, but the following list explores the major contributors to pavement deterioration.

Inadequate Thickness of Asphalt

The thickness of the asphalt pavement is determined by the expected load that the pavement will bear. This includes both the number of vehicles and the weight of them. If the load is greater than the pavement was engineered to support, such as when a road is traveled by many more vehicles or a parking lot designed for passenger vehicles is subjected to heavy tractor-trailers, the pavement can deteriorate prematurely.

Compaction Problems

The asphalt as well as its supporting foundation must be properly compacted during the installation process. If the base and sub-base are not compacted sufficiently, the asphalt pavement will not have the support it needs to retain its resiliency under traffic.

Water Infiltration

Water is the number one enemy that your asphalt pavement must face. Water can penetrate the pavement through cracks, damaged edges or potholes. Once beneath the asphalt, the water can damage the foundation, causing pavement deterioration that can often exceed the damages caused by improper compaction. If the water freezes, its expansion can damage the pavement even more.

Improper Maintenance

Asphalt pavement requires maintenance to reach its maximum life. This includes applying sealcoating as often as your specific situation requires; sealcoating protects against the damages caused by UV rays and helps protect against automotive fluid leaks that can cause asphalt deterioration. Cracks and potholes should be filled promptly to prevent water infiltration, and drainage should be sufficient to prevent puddles of water from forming on the pavement. Debris should be removed regularly to prevent moisture from collecting beneath it.

For More Help

Alpha Paving Industries is an asphalt paving contractor in  Austin and Central Texas.  We have installed, maintained and repaired  asphalt pavement for more than three decades. Our highly trained and experienced crews offer quality work at competitive rates. Whether you need asphalt paving, sealcoating, pavement markings or any other asphalt-related service, we can help. Call us at (512) 677-9001 or use our online form to request your free quote.

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