Preventative maintenance is a big part of keeping your asphalt pavement in good condition and free of damage from vehicle traffic and the weather elements. Here are two types of asphalt damage that can occur to your pavement and how to repair them when they occur.
One type of asphalt damage that can happen with your pavement is referred to as alligator cracking, which is a web-like pattern of cracks that can span your pavement's surface. The culprit for this type of damage is due to an improper installation of the asphalt's foundation base material.
A layer of angular gravel, installed and compressed to be several inches thick, should be placed as the base material to provide a strong and durable foundation. But if this base layer is made of sand or existing soil on the site, it can shift from moisture erosion or from freeze-thaw patterns, which leave the asphalt's layer unsupported. This leads to the sagging of the asphalt and the cracking patterns that look similar to an alligator's skin.
When your asphalt begins to show signs of alligator pattern cracks, it is apparent that the foundation material has failed and you will need to replace it to restore your asphalt's strength. It is recommended to hire a professional asphalt company to remove the asphalt and inspect the underlying foundation to determine what caused the pavement's failure.
It is important the asphalt crew removes the failing foundation material and replace it with an appropriate amount of compressed gravel. Otherwise, removing and replacing the asphalt with a new layer without repairing the foundation will lead to further surface deterioration.
Vehicle Fluid Damage Repair
Another type of damage to your pavement is from the fluids dripped and spilled from the vehicles which you drive and park upon it. Fluids from your vehicles that are petroleum-based, such as oil, gasoline, and some brake fluids can soften the binders holding the pavement's aggregate together, causing the pavement to unravel and disintegrate. When you experience a fluid spill upon your asphalt you should clean it up immediately to prevent it from softening your asphalt.
First, sprinkle kitty litter onto the pavement, soaking up the excess fluid. Sweep up and discard the kitty litter, then you will need to clean the surface of the asphalt of the fluid. Use an asphalt cleaner and a long-handled scrub brush to clean the fluids, then rinse it clean with your garden hose.
Any fluid spills that have gone unnoticed will likely result in some level of asphalt damage. For these situations, you will need to have the damaged area of asphalt cut out and replaced with a new asphalt patch. You can hire a professional asphalt service crew to remove and replace the asphalt, depending on the size of the damage. For a small area of damage, you can cut out the damage with a circular saw and a masonry blade, then patch the area with some cold mix bagged asphalt repair.
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