Asphalt maintenance and repair is more than just repaving. In fact, repaving should be your last resort. There are several ways to maximize the life of your asphalt pavement, but the most critical aspect of upkeep is being proactive and maintaining good pavement before any damage occurs.
Below is a list of “Do” and Don’t” recommendations for asphalt maintenance and repair.
List of Don'ts for Asphalt Maintenance
Do not let your asphalt be affected by oxidation. This happens when the binder in the asphalt, which is composed of aggregates and sand, is exposed to oxygen and ultraviolet light from the sun without any shielding. Oxidation leads to raveling on the surface, making it more brittle and vulnerable to cracking. You can tell if your asphalt has been oxidized because its color will have changed from a dark black to a greyish tone.
Do not allow sprinklers to spray water onto your asphalt pavement. Water is a major factor in damaging the material, as it can seep into the base course and weaken it, creating depressions and potholes that further allow water to enter.
Do not permit large loads on your asphalt. Very heavy vehicles, such as trash trucks, create tremendous pressure on your pavement. If there are already splits or a damaged base course in the asphalt, the weight of the truck will only worsen it further. If you must have hefty vehicles on your asphalt, think about setting up a concrete pad where these vehicles often pass by.
If you don't take care of your asphalt, it will be exposed to oxidation which can cause cracks. These cracks let water into the base layer, leading to depressions and potholes in the pavement. But if you act fast and do regular maintenance like sealing, filling cracks, removing oil stains, repairing potholes and striping or marking, you can avoid more serious damage.
When it comes to selecting a contractor for your paving or repair needs, you may be tempted to go with the most cost-effective option. Nevertheless, it is essential that you assess both proposals on an even playing field and not make your decision solely based on price. This is due to the fact that different quotes may have different levels of work included in them. To learn more about why this is important, read on as we examine our "DO" list.
List of Do's for Asphalt Maintenance
It is important to sweep your asphalt pavement at least once a year as this helps to keep the surface looking neat and tidy. Additionally, it allows you to inspect the pavement for any cracks or depressions which may indicate early signs of deterioration. If these are identified quickly, then action such as crack filling and seal coating can be taken to prevent further damage.
Sealing your asphalt every three to five years acts like sunscreen for the surface, protecting it from oxidation and water damage. Depending on the amount of traffic your parking lot receives, you may need to seal it more often than this period.
It is essential to fill cracks in your pavement as soon as possible, since water penetration can cause the base course to deteriorate. This will result in more cracks, which will ultimately lead to alligatoring and potholes. To avoid such issues, it is important to prevent water infiltration by promptly filling any cracks.
It is important to plan to repair potholes even if a patching material has been used. Most commercially available patching materials do not last very long and may need to be reapplied within a few weeks. Our Instant Road Repair product provides longer-term relief, but the pothole will still need to be properly repaired in the end. This entails removing the damaged area and replacing it with new asphalt that is then compacted down.
When requesting bids, it is essential to provide an outline of the job. If you get cost estimates from two different contractors without a detailed description of what needs to be done, the prices can vary significantly. For instance, Contractor A may offer a lower price for just seal coating while Contractor B may give a higher quote that includes crack fill, pothole repair and seal coating. While the former will likely be more affordable, they may not offer as comprehensive of a pavement maintenance plan as the latter. Therefore, it is important to assess what needs to be done before asking for costs - some areas might require repaving instead of sealcoating while others just need sealing and still others need cracks filled first. This is why it's vital to have your asphalt surface inspected and create an action plan before soliciting bids.