It's no lie that asphalt is one of the best paving materials available today. Most commercial and residential property owners choose asphalt pavements because they offer high skid resistance and are safer. Plus, pavements made from asphalt have smooth surfaces that reduce roll resistance and facilitate superior contact with car tires. Unfortunately, asphalt paving is susceptible to a few common issues, the most prevalent being cracking. The sections below introduce the main sources of this problem and the best way of remedying it.
What causes cracking?
Some of the main causes of cracking in pavements include:
The petroleum refining process responsible for producing diesel fuel and gasoline, among other products, provides asphalt binder as a co-product. Asphalt is an affordable, waterproof, thermoplastic adhesive responsible for gluing paving together. However, despite the asphalt binder being incredibly durable, its condition deteriorates over time. That happens faster when you ignore essential maintenance practices like snow and ice removal, sweeping, or fixing drainage problems. Not to forget, asphalt pavement cracks as they age because the asphalt adhesive used loses its ductility as aging takes its toll.
2. Fatigue cracking
Most experts call fatigue cracking "crocodile cracking" or "alligator cracking." The reason is that this problem features interconnected cracks that make a particular surface resemble a crocodile or alligator's skin. One of the primary sources of fatigue cracking is thin pavements. A pavement lacking the consistency required to withstand the maximum load it's likely to tackle regularly eventually deteriorates and cracks. The same applies to asphalt pavements exposed to overloading. Generally, it's safe to assume subjecting asphalt paving to weight limits it was built for leads to severe fatigue and extensive cracking.
When moisture seeps into your asphalt pavement, it makes it break down. That is why pavers consider water one of the most significant triggers of pavement cracking. Moreover, extensive exposure to moisture forces the sand and gravel base to wash away, eventually making pavements brittle and more predisposed to crack developments. It's also important to note that cracks on your asphalt pavement expand and aggravate as water, snow, or ice collects in them. Therefore, if your property has sub-par drainage systems or none at all, installing them may save the pavements from cracking and boost their serviceable life.
Fixing Cracks on Asphalt Pavements
Fixing any cracks on asphalt paving is essential in preserving the structure and making it more efficient. On the other hand, not doing so encourages water, debris, and impurities to accumulate inside the pavement, accelerating its failure. The best way to repair a cracked asphalt paving is to hire paving repair experts to place an adhesive sealant into the pavement surface's cracks. The entire process is popularly known as crack sealing and is crucial in ensuring your pavement is in optimum condition for a long time.