Asphalt Pavement Wear | Austin, Tx

Asphalt Pavement Wear | Austin, TxEventually, all asphalt pavement will show signs of wear and tear. Some of these signs occur over time and are to be expected, while others can appear suddenly and surprise property owners. One of the most obvious signs of pavement wear and tear is the appearance of cracks. Here are the most common causes of cracks in asphalt pavement.

Asphalt Pavement Wear | Austin, Tx -Water Penetration

Water can infiltrate beneath the pavement through an overlooked crack or around the edges of pavement with poor drainage. Once it has penetrated, it can destabilize the foundation, and without a strong foundation, the pavement can become unable to support the weight of traffic, leading to large and/or numerous cracks.

UV Rays

The sun can be especially harsh in the Central Texas area. The summer heat can cause some damage to asphalt pavement, but most damage is caused by UV rays. UV rays rob asphalt pavement of the moisture it needs to remain flexible, so cracking is common when asphalt pavement is not properly protected by sealcoating.

Installation Issues

Improper installation can lead to premature cracking. For example, if the contractor does not compact the foundation adequately, the pavement may not have sufficient support. Cracks that are the result of poor installation typically begin to appear within two years and grow progressively worse.

Soil Issues

Soil with a high clay content can lead to cracks in asphalt pavement. During droughts or extended dry periods, the clay shrinks; when the rains arrive, it swells. This cycle of shrinking and swelling can make the pavement move up and down, weakening its integrity and leading to cracks.

Tree Roots

Although more commonly seen in driveways, parking lots and streets can suffer damage from tree roots. As the roots grow, they can apply sufficient pressure to the pavement as well as the foundation to cause cracks to appear once the materials can no longer resist the stress.

Freeze/Thaw Cycle

When the ground beneath the pavement expands and contracts, the pavement can shift. The damage will be exacerbated if water penetration occurs.

Soil Erosion

This is a common problem for any type of pavement that is built on land that is surrounded by terrain that is higher than the pavement. Runoff from the surrounding property can soak the soil surrounding the pavement, resulting in a flow of water beneath the pavement that can destabilize the foundation.

Overweight Traffic

Whether it is a residential driveway, an airport runway or a parking lot, asphalt pavement is designed to support traffic of a certain weight. Subjecting the pavement to heavier loads than it was engineered to support will result in cracking.

You cannot prevent all wear and tear to your asphalt pavement, but the professionals at Alpha Paving Industries can help you prevent many types of damage and repair problems before they destroy your pavement. Alpha Paving Industries has been paving asphalt in Austin, Tx and Central Texas with over 30 years of experience. Our services include seal coating, asphalt paving, parking lot striping and asphalt repairs. You can use our online form to request a free quote or call us at 512-677-9001.

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