How Asphalt Pavement Deterioration Occurs

Asphalt pavement has been around for as long as we can remember, but that doesn’t mean it lasts forever. Home and business owners in Saratoga Springs, NY expect their property to be constructed with sustainable asphalt, yet are unaware of how much can go awry during construction and beyond that affects the lifespan of the pavement. Here’s what can happen to environmentally-friendly asphalt that doesn’t receive proper maintenance.

Mother Nature

Some causes of asphalt deterioration are unavoidable. Pavement is constantly exposed to sunlight, which slowly dries out the liquid binder in asphalt. Dried asphalt loses its flexibility and becomes stiff, allowing cracks to spread across the surface. The cracks grow over time and, in severe cases, further deteriorate into potholes and craters. Threats from the natural elements cause workers to repave roads more than you might think, so it’s important for businesses in Saratoga Springs, NY to pave their property with environmentally-friendly asphalt.

Water is another huge culprit behind asphalt deterioration. After sunlight dries out the surface, rainwater seeps into the cracks, where it can freeze and expand inside the pavement. Expansion forces the aggregate to break apart, which then allows more water to penetrate the surface and continue this destructive cycle. Water also breaks down the underlying base and will eventually cause the asphalt surface to collapse.

Poor construction

Roads paved with sustainable asphalt can last up to 25 years. The unfortunate reality, though, is that some construction companies do a better job than others. Many steps can go wrong during the construction process and significantly shorten the asphalt’s lifespan. Roads need sufficient drainage systems to prevent water from freezing inside the aggregate. Poor drainage combined with an unstable foundation condemns asphalt pavement to heavy deterioration within a few short years.

Roads experience premature failure if the asphalt itself isn’t created properly. A liquid substance has to bind the aggregate together like glue and receive the right amount of compaction. Asphalt that’s too loose or condensed is even more vulnerable to damage from the sun and rain. Not only that, workers must bind the aggregate together at the appropriate temperature, lest they risk undermining the surface’s structural integrity.

Lack of maintenance

Too many business owners in Saratoga Springs, NY make the mistake of believing they can leave asphalt alone once it’s in place. But much like anything else, even sustainable asphalt needs regular maintenance in order to extend its longevity. A professional has the required knowledge to check for signs of deterioration like buckling, cracks and dryness.

If you pay close attention, you’ll notice a stark difference in newly laid and older asphalt. The color fades with time, which means surfaces need to be resealed once every two to four years depending on the level of traffic they experience.

It’s normal for asphalt to accrue some wear and tear over the years. Hiring the right team of asphalt contractors for the job is the surest way of helping your commercial or residential pavement last as long as possible. The professionals at Asphalt Industries, LLC are the leaders in providing environmentally-friendly asphalt and paving services for every type of project. Reach out to us today to learn more and schedule a consultation.