Asphalt maintenance like crack sealing, sealcoating, striping, and patching are low-cost solutions that will improve the life of an asphalt surface. If an asphalt surface is not maintained properly over time it can lead to a costly replacement. Use this guide to help you properly maintain blacktop pavement.
Remove Oil Stains
Removing oil stains is crucial to maintaining a pothole-free asphalt surface. Automotive engine fluids are made of corrosive chemicals which will eat through asphalt bitumen.
Engine oil is a major cause of potholes because both asphalt bitumen and engine oil are both made of crude oil products. Engine oil will attach to the asphalt bitumen, dissolving it while breaking apart the bond it made with the aggregate rock. To prevent and protect your asphalt surface from disrepair make sure to clean up oil spills when they are spotted. Oil spills can be cleaned using some common cleaning solutions.
Water down some dish soap into a bucket and apply it to the spill area. You will need to agitate the oil spill with preferably a metal bristled brush. Once the soapy water turns dark in color you can wash the area down with a hose or pressure washer.
Cat litter or an absorbent chemical
Kitty litter or any other absorbent material like sawdust or shop cleaner will soak up the setting oil removing it from the blacktop surface. You may need to use this method in addition to using soapy water if the stain has dried.
Oil Removing Solvents
Oil removing solvents like brake cleaner, WD40, and oven cleaner can be used on heavy oil stains where soap and water will not cut it. Apply the oil cleaner to the area and use a metal bristle brush to get into cracks and aggregate the stain. Oil cleaners should be used with extreme care because they are both toxic and flammable.
Sweep Dirt and Gravel
When dirt and gravel build up on an asphalt it will begin to scuff the surface. Cars will drive over the grit and grind away at the asphalt. Gravel is used to add grip to roadways and parking lots during the winter, but it will cause an asphalt surface to dull. You should thoroughly sweep any blacktop surface when you notice a build up of gravel. Street sweepers will clean some grime from a blacktop surface but often will push it to the side of the street rather than picking it up.
Check for cracks and any damage to make sure it gets sealed quickly. Cracks form when an asphalt surface is under stress from either weight, tree roots or plants, water damage, or erosion. It is common for blacktop to form cracks over time, but it is important to keep up onto repairs.
Unsealed cracks will grow with the intrusion of water and the saturation of the soil underneath it. Water intrusion is worse during winter months in areas that experience freezing temperatures. Water will seep into cracks and then expand, breaking apart an asphalt surface.
If you notice cracks in your asphalt, call a paving company for a consultation. The sooner you fix the cracks that have formed in a surface the better because it will stop the damage quickly. If you are in the Austin or San Antonio area Lone Star Paving can help you with your asphalt repairs.
Over time the top layer of an asphalt surface will break down, exposing the aggregate rock beneath it. The top layer of blacktop is a coating of bitumen that prevents water from seeping into the asphalt. The top coating of bitumen will wear down with traffic and sun exposure. You can tell when an asphalt surface has lost its top layer when the surface is dulled or gray in color.
Sealcoating is a cost effective way at maintaining an asphalt surface and protecting your investment from further damage. Learn more about our asphalt sealcoating services.
Striping and signage painting
After a surface has been sealcoated or crack sealed new striping, parking lot lines, and signage should be applied. Sun and normal wear and tear from traffic will break down and dull the parking lot and roadway lines. It is important to properly maintain a parking lot to both meet ADA compliance and protect the safety of your property.
Lone Star Paving Has Your Maintenance Covered
Lone Star Paving Company has over 125 years of combined experience with asphalt and concrete repairs. Contact Lone Star Paving Company today to schedule your for your free on-site consultation.