Maintaining your pavement is a worthwhile activity that prolongs its longevity. But sometimes, no matter how hard we try, the pavement might still need repairs. There are various factors that may cause the need for asphalt repair, and knowing what to look out for may help you prepare well in advance.
Exposure to Water
Prolonged exposure to water is terrible for your pavement. It affects the durability of sidewalks, penetrating the asphalt and causing the breakdown of the inner bonds between asphalt cement and the aggregate. This process is known as debonding, and it often results in needing asphalt repair.
Exposure to Direct Sunlight
Asphalt surfaces have a low albedo (the threshold for reflection of solar radiation), and thus they absorb light rather than reflect it. Light absorbed by black asphalt is converted into thermal energy, which quickens the deterioration process of asphalt. With time, the durability of the asphalt pavement is reduced, and tension within the asphalt causes the brittle nature that initiates cracking.
Exposing asphalt to the sun also means exposing it to UV rays. When asphalt comes in contact with the UV rays and atmospheric oxygen, oxidation occurs. This process causes the binding agents in asphalt to break down, leading to cracking. You may also end up noticing a difference in the color of your pavement – instead of asphalt’s fresh black color, you will see shades of gray instead.
Oil spills, especially those from parked vehicles, can make asphalt repair necessary. They have a significant impact on the durability of the pavement, so it is recommended that you treat them as soon as they occur. Oil dissolves binding agents that hold aggregate and sand together. This reaction leads to raveling and softening of the asphalt.
Frequent heavy loads may become a leading reason why you need asphalt repair. Vehicles like garbage trucks and delivery trucks can put thousands of pounds of stress on your pavement. Combined with factors such as oxidation and exposure to water, this can weaken your asphalt significantly.
While trees add beautiful scenery to your environment, they may cause problems when planted near pavement. Fibrous roots serve to anchor a tree in the soil, but they can also cause severe damage to asphalt. These roots stretch far and wide, looking for water and nourishment. In the process, they create “road heaves” that do heavy damage, making asphalt repair necessary.
If any of these factors are giving you trouble, you may need asphalt repair. We recommend you give the experts at Lone Star Paving a call, before your problems escalate! Whether you need paving, maintenance, sealcoating, or parking lot striping, we’re here for any asphalt job in Central Texas.