Understanding The Variables That Can Cause Damage To Paved Surfaces

3 October 2014
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog


Pavement structures are created to withstand heavy traffic and most weather related situations. However, there are certain situations that can affect the lifespan of your paved surface such as the depth of the asphalt or if the base support starts to decline prematurely. The information below lists some situations that may cause your paved surface to crack and become brittle.

The Environment

The different changes within the environment related to the cold, wetness and extreme heat can cause stress damage to asphalt pavement. The sun's UV rays can break down the asphalt surface and erode your neatly paved surface. The constant change in cold weather which causes the ground to freeze and thaw repeatedly will cause the paved surface to expand and contract, creating cracks that will eventually lead to potholes. If the weather is hot and dry most of the time, it can cause the oxidation of the asphalt to accelerate and become brittle.

The Drainage System

If there is a sub-surface water saturation problem due to a leaking irrigation, it can damage the structure located beneath the asphalt. This creates load-bearing stress on the asphalt, which can cause the base structure to fail, leading to possible sinkholes.

The Traffic Pattern

Heavy traffic can adversely affect the structure of most paved surfaces. However, if there is constant traffic in a repeated loading pattern along an asphalt surface it can cause it to become brittle. The asphalt becomes brittle because of shrinkage cracks that can develop along the surface due to the constant loading patterns.

In order to protect your paved asphalt, it is essential that you follow up with consistent maintenance. Consider consulting with a contractor and create a regular schedule to have the paved surface sealed and filled if there are any noticeable cracks. Typically, the repairs are using a milling machine or other paving equipment. This will delay the rate of oxidation and also prevent water from seeping below the surface, which can lead to structural damage. By taking care of stress areas as they occur and before spreading, you may increase the lifespan of your paved surface.  

Before beginning any work on your paved surface check with the original contractor to find out if the warranty is still active. If so, they may repair the paved surfaces alleviating the need to hire another contractor such as Williamson Equipment. Even if it's not covered under warranty you may be able to negotiate to have it repaired at a lower cost.