How Can I Make My Asphalt Pavement Last Longer?

The key to achieving the maximum longevity of any asphalt pavement is the proper initial construction by a paving company that is both knowledgeable and experienced in all aspects of planning and construction of the structure from the ground up. The degree of professionalism that the contractor displays during the construction process can significantly influence the frequency and severity of the pavement’s repair needs. A well-constructed pavement will require fewer major repairs and will typically have a longer life expectancy.

What Qualities Will Influence the Longevity of Asphalt Pavements?

The choice of an asphalt paving company is a critical part of ensuring your long-term satisfaction with your new pavement. Reputable, experienced asphalt contractors know that the attention they pay to the details can make the difference between a pavement that lasts for decades with little more than routine maintenance and one that fails spectacularly within just a few years.

• The materials used for the construction of the pavement should be of the highest quality to ensure the integrity of the structure. Proper planning should include the exact mix requirements for the intended load that the pavement will bear.
• Proper grading and compaction of the base is an essential part of creating a stable structure. Soil composition will affect the exact preparation requirements. Subbase materials need to be of a precise individual size and installed to a precise thickness to support the asphalt layer and still allow adequate drainage.
• Water should not be allowed to remain on the asphalt surface after a storm. The contractor must create the proper slope for the pavement so that water drains away quickly. If necessary, the contractor may need to install an underground drainage system, gutters to channel the water to a storm sewer, or catch basins or storm drains to manage runoff.
• Virtually all professional asphalt contractors hire to build a pavement with a preventive maintenance program to maximize the longevity of the asphalt structure and minimize the occurrence of needed repairs.

What Is a Preventive Maintenance Program for Asphalt Pavements?

The amount of maintenance that a pavement receives has a major impact on its longevity. For example, an asphalt parking lot will normally last about 12 years with minimal maintenance, but it will only last about eight years if it receives no maintenance at all. However, a professionally planned and well-executed preventive maintenance program can often extend the life of the parking lot to between 20 and 30 years.

• One of the most critical steps to maintain the health and appearance of an asphalt surface is to sealcoat it within its first year and at periodic intervals throughout its life. Most experts recommend that sealcoating contractors apply a fresh sealant to a parking lot every two to four years. Sealcoating protects the pavement from the sun’s damaging UV rays and helps protect against automotive fluids, tire damage, and water penetration. If the pavement has cracks or other damage, the contractor should make the necessary repairs before applying the sealcoating.
• Every preventive maintenance program should include periodic visual inspections of the entire asphalt surface. Prioritize repairs to potholes and significant cracks to prevent water from reaching the pavement’s interior and supporting the foundation.
• Keep the surface clean and free of debris. Trash and dead vegetation left to accumulate on the asphalt surface can trap moisture and quickly begin a process of deterioration. Remove oil and other chemicals properly, then carefully inspect the affected area for damage.
• Inspect drainage often, especially after severe weather, and clear any obstruction that might impede the flow of water away from your pavement.

Whether you need a new parking lot or street, pavement repairs, or an ongoing preventive maintenance program, we can help. Alpha Paving is a leading asphalt company with an impeccable reputation for craftsmanship, integrity, and customer service. We offer a wide selection of asphalt services, including concrete and asphalt repairs, asphalt paving, sealcoating, parking lot striping, asphalt overlays, concrete installation, asphalt road construction, thermoplastic pavement markings, and asphalt milling. Our clients include shopping malls, municipalities, airports, schools, apartment complexes, hospitals, hotels, subdivisions, industrial facilities, and major retailers. For a free quote, fill out our online request form or call 512-677-9001.

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