6 Main Causes of Asphalt Paving Deterioration

6 Main Causes of Asphalt Paving Deterioration

Asphalt is a very durable material, but it is not immune to deterioration. Over time, asphalt will succumb to the elements and start to show signs of wear and tear. Deterioration of asphalt paving is a common occurrence that has a negative effect on both the structure and performance of the pavement.

If you have asphalt on your property, it is important to be aware of the main causes of deterioration so that you can take steps to prevent or repair them. In this blog, we will share the 6 main causes of deterioration that can affect your asphalt paving. So, let’s begin!

What Causes Asphalt Paving to Deteriorate?

Asphalt is one of the most popular paving materials used to pave roads, parking lots, and driveways. It is durable and versatile, and its colour can be changed with an asphalt overlay. But if you do not maintain the pavement properly, it will begin to degrade over time. Several reasons cause asphalt paving to deteriorate; let’s have a look at some of the most common reasons:

Poor Drainage

One of the most common causes of asphalt deterioration is poor drainage. Asphalt paving is a porous surface that allows water to penetrate through it. Water can collect on the surface of asphalt pavement if it rains heavily or if there is inadequate drainage near it. The water penetrating the asphalt material can cause damage to it and lead to cracking, spalling, corrosion and pitting. To prevent this from happening, ensure adequate drains underneath your driveway as well as around it so that no water accumulates on its surface during heavy rainfalls. Also, make sure to clean and clear your gutters regularly and maintain any drainage ditches on your property.

Ultraviolet Rays

Ultraviolet rays are a major cause of asphalt deterioration because they age and discolour the surface of the pavement. Asphalt does not have the same resistance to UV light as concrete does, so it will start to break down over time. UV rays can break down the bond between the asphalt and the gravel base and cause them to deteriorate quickly. This can cause the material to become brittle and cracked. To protect your asphalt from extreme temperatures, make sure that it is properly compacted and that any cracks are sealed promptly by an expert asphalt contractor in Melbourne. You can also consider installing a dark-coloured asphalt surface or applying a sealant underneath the asphalt surface. It is also advisable to apply a seal coat every 2-3 years.

Oil spills

Another reason that causes asphalt paving to deteriorate is gasoline and oil spills from cars. These oil spills may seep through cracks in the asphalt and cause damage over time. They contain several chemical compounds that can weaken the sealant on asphalt paving surfaces.  To prevent this from happening, make sure that any spills are cleaned up immediately. If you see any signs that your asphalt has been damaged by gasoline or other petroleum products, you should immediately contact an experienced asphalt contractor right away.

Heavy Traffic

Asphalt material is composed of several different components that work together to form a durable road surface that can withstand heavy traffic without cracking or chipping at its surface texture. Over time, however, these components may deteriorate due to wear and tear from the constant weight of vehicles. The effects of heavy traffic are not just limited to compacting or creating cracks in the surface; they can also damage underlying subbase materials, which may lead to further degradation over time. To prevent this from happening, make sure that your parking lot or driveway is properly designed and constructed with a thick layer of asphalt.

Freeze and Thaw Cycle

The freeze and thaw cycle is a natural process that occurs every year during winter.  When water seeps through the asphalt surface, it freezes and then expands. This expansion can cause asphalt to crack and break apart. When the temperature rises again, it causes the asphalt to expand again, causing even more damage. This cycle can be repeated for years due to freezing temperatures or heavy snowfall. Using a high-quality paving product goes a long way toward ensuring a long and durable life for your asphalt surface, but you should also make sure to incorporate yearly asphalt service maintenance.

Tree Roots

Planting trees too close to an asphalt driveway can cause tree roots to invade the surface of the road, causing cracks in it. Tree roots are much stronger than they look, so they can easily damage roads by pushing them down. This causes asphalt pavement to become weaker and  creates potholes in the road surface by growing through them. They also  penetrate the grout lines of the pavement and cause them to deteriorate. To prevent this from happening, seal your asphalt properly so that roots cannot penetrate through it easily.

Final Words

Asphalt is a very durable material, but it is susceptible to damage from various sources.  Knowing the main causes of deterioration can help determine whether you should install new asphalt or repair it. The good news is that asphalt repair is not a hard fix. You can get your driveway back to its former glory with a bit of work and effort. So when you finish repairing the damage, make sure that you keep up with maintenance and don’t let it fall into disrepair again. If you have any concerns about the condition of your asphalt, contact a professional asphalt company for an assessment.


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