What is Asphalt? Asphalt is composed of mineral aggregates, mainly sand and rock. The rock varies in size depending on the type of constructions it’s being used for. It also has an asphalt binder also known as Bitumen. That binder is the left over product from the oil refining process.
As with any type of weather, it is no surprise that it is the main cause of asphalt failure. Oxidation is caused by the sun breaking down the asphalt and precipitation doing the same. Over time, oxidation causes the asphalt binder to deteriorate, leaving the aggregate exposed. This exposed aggregate leaves your asphalt looking rough and uneven. The best way to prevent this from happening to your asphalt is a proper sealcoat maintenance schedule.
This can be caused by improper installation or by the natural oxidation process. As asphalt gets too thin it becomes brittle and vehicle traffic over these areas will cause the asphalt to break up and cause pot holes.
As water penetrates weak asphalt and works its way in the base, this will cause damage to the base. This can be the most costly type of damage to your asphalt as you need to replace not only the asphalt, but the base material as well. Base failure can be determined by “alligator cracking” which is a number of small cracks confined to one area.
Asphalt patching – One solution to these problems is asphalt patching. Asphalt patching is intended to fix isolated areas where these problems are occurring. It can also be done prior to sealcoating if your general asphalt area is in good condition but there are a few trouble spots. The patching process starts by saw cutting the edges of the patch to ensure we get clean edges where the asphalt can stay in place. We then remove the damaged asphalt and haul it off site. Then, we lay a lift of hot asphalt and compact it to get the finished product.
Asphalt paving – The paving process is much like the patching project only on a much larger scale. First, we remove the damaged asphalt by either removing the asphalt from the entire site, edge mill along the curb, or mini mill a few areas what need to be addressed prior to paving. We then apply a tack coat to keep the asphalt in place. A paving machine is then brought in to lay down the desired thickness and the entire project is rolled with a steel wheel and rubber tire roller.