Inadequately built asphalt pavements can quickly become prone to damage, but even the best-constructed asphalt pavements require periodic upkeep to minimize the extent of damage originating from minor issues. If neglected, small issues can rapidly progress to severe damage that will result in costly repairs. Asphalt contractors recommend adhering to a well-defined, properly executed preventive maintenance program to keep your pavement in top condition and prolong its useful life.
Why Minor Asphalt Potholes Can Become a Major Concern
What Causes Asphalt Pavements to Develop Potholes?
Asphalt potholes can begin as nothing more than a small crack in the asphalt pavement. Left unrepaired, the crack will allow moisture to infiltrate the asphalt layer and eventually enter the base and subbase layers. Materials in the base layers will become compromised. Pockets of empty space beneath the asphalt layer will eliminate the support that the pavement needs. Vehicles driving over these compromised areas will cause the asphalt to collapse, and additional traffic will cause more damage. Broken asphalt material will be pulled from the collapsed area, forming a pothole.
However, potholes can also form without surface damage from cracks. Damage can originate at the base layers if they become compromised due to poor subterranean drainage or unstable soils. Repeated freezing and thawing of the ground can exacerbate the damage.
How Do Asphalt Contractors Repair Potholes?
Contractors commonly repair potholes by patching the pavement. Asphalt patching begins with the removal of all loose material within and around the pothole. The contractor will cut out the damaged area to access and repair the base. If poor drainage is determined to be the cause of the pothole, the contractor will need to address the issue. After cleaning and adequately preparing the void, the contractor will install new asphalt and compact it.
What Is Alligator Cracking?
Alligator cracking refers to a specific pattern of damage involving interconnected cracks. The appearance of the connected cracks resembles the pattern on an alligator’s skin. Alligator cracking occurs as a result of fatigue, and this type of damage can rapidly escalate into structural failure. Alligator cracking is usually due to traffic loading on areas with a weak subgrade. Insufficiencies in the base materials or asphalt layers that result in the pavement’s inability to support the weight of vehicles traveling over the pavement can also cause alligator cracking.
How Does an Asphalt Contractor Repair Alligator Cracking?
Alligator cracking and potholes typically have similar causes, and the repair procedure is much the same for both types of defects. The contractor will remove loose material, cut out the area of damage, repair the base, address any drainage issues, and clean and prepare the void. His crew will then place hot mix asphalt in the void and compact it. If the need for parking lot patching is extensive, your contractor may recommend an asphalt pavement overlay or resurfacing.
How Do I Prevent Potholes and Alligator Cracking?
Proper asphalt pavement maintenance can alleviate or eliminate the need for major repairs for many years. Regular crack filling is essential, so you may need to hire a reputable contractor to repair cracks once or twice each year. You should also have him apply a high-quality sealant material every two years. Also, you will want to limit or forbid vehicles that weigh more than specified in your original design, and you should also make sure that your pavement drains properly.
Does Alpha Offer Pavement Maintenance?
Alpha Paving offers street maintenance, parking lot maintenance, crackfilling, road construction, asphalt patching, concrete repairs, asphalt paving, milling, parking lot striping, sealcoating, parking lot signs, thermoplastic and painted pavement markings, and asphalt resurfacing. Whether you need an asphalt pavement overlay or a routine maintenance program in Austin, we have the experience and equipment to help. Our team members are highly skilled and committed to quality workmanship. We provide our services to a wide variety of commercial customers, including subdivisions, health care facilities, HOAs, educational facilities, religious institutions, retailers, hotels, municipalities and counties, restaurants, apartment complexes, and airports. You can complete the online form or call 512-677-9001 to request a free quote.
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