Potholes and cracks in parking lots are not just unattractive, but they shorten the life of the pavement and can lead to liability issues. Effective patching and repair as soon as damage is discovered will save you money by eliminating potential hazards and further deterioration of your asphalt.
What Causes Asphalt Damage
Most asphalt problems arise from a combination of wear-and-tear and weather. Overtime, as vehicles, especially heavy ones, drive and turn on pavement, the asphalt can be slightly distorted. When this process is repeated, small cracks and fissures can develop. Rain and especially the freeze-thaw cycle of winter cause those cracks to spread and additional traffic will quickly create potholes. Cracks and potholes can also develop from improper paving issues such as, problems with what’s supporting the pavement surface, asphalt that’s too thin or poorly mixed, or issues at the edges of the pavement or where sections meet.
Asphalt Crack Filling
Although cracks in asphalt may look small and unimportant at a glance, they’re the first sign of larger problems down the road. Properly repairing cracked asphalt will help keep those cracks from growing into potholes and will dramatically lengthen the life of your pavement. A low-budget or untrained repair job for cracked asphalt often consists of a bucket of crack filler and another bucket of sealant. This might work for the very short term, but a proper repair will last for years. Done correctly, hot-pour rubberized filler is used to fill in cracks and a seal coat applied over top to prevent water intrusion.
In areas with small potholes or a network of cracking, asphalt patching may be in order. Amateurs will often patch with a bucket of cold patch and a hand tamper. That’s a fine fix if you don’t mind repeating it at least once a year if not more often. For a lasting asphalt patch, you need hot asphalt, a compactor, and a team that knows how to do it well. Larger areas may benefit more by being milled out and then patched for optimal results.
Larger, deeper potholes are difficult to patch well without specialized equipment and trained people to use it. Traditional cut-and-fill pothole patches often fail at the seams as the new asphalt shrinks with cooling and water getting into those gaps, restarting the decay process. A very cost-effective way to make long-lasting repairs of potholes and prevent further damage is infrared pothole repair. Instead of cutting out the damaged section, an infrared heating unit sits over the pavement, heating it to a working temperature. The existing asphalt can be reworked and necessary new asphalt and oils can be added as needed, finishing with a vibratory roller to compact the repair and fuse it to the surrounding pavement. Infrared pothole repair usually costs less and is ready for traffic sooner than traditional repairs.
What Type of Repair Is Needed?
There’s no hard and fast rule to determine what type of repair your pavement might need. A single pothole might look small, but an experienced eye may notice a dip or other issues indicating a larger problem. A large area of cracks might look like it needs replacing but might only require crack filling. Paving professionals have the knowledge and expertise to examine not only the pavement but to consider how it’s used, how much traffic it gets, and other concerns to provide you with a long-lasting, satisfying repair.
Proper pavement maintenance and early repairs are key to making your asphalt surfaces last as long as possible. Having those repairs made properly by an experienced team with the right materials and equipment will make that happen effectively and efficiently. Contact us today to see how we can fix your asphalt problems.