Asphalt, just like any other construction material, degrades and deteriorates over time. However, there are a few simple, cost effective measures you can utilize to extend the usable service life of asphalt.
- Protection from water – keeping water drained off of the pavement surface and in to drainage systems or greenspace will drastically reduce the potential for damages such as potholes. Maintenance measures such as regrading low lying areas to drain properly and applying crackfill to keep water out of the subbase can aid in reducing damage from surface water.
- Retaining surface consistency and smoothness ensuring the asphalt surface isn’t overexposed to the elements and allowed to oxidize is critical in keeping maintenance costs low. If the top layer of binder is allowed to oxidize, aggregate will start to separate from the surface and drastically decay the pavement surface over time. By instituting a recurring sealcoating application every 2-3 years you can protect this vital surface layer and prevent accelerated decay and erosion.
- Attack problems when they arise – localized failures such as fatigue cracking and potholes are guaranteed to appear as asphalt ages. Removing and replacing these failures via patching will ensure that they don’t get larger or create more substantial and costly problems in the future. Fix what is manageable early on and you’ll avoid larger costs later on.
Asphalt pavements can be maintained and managed on a reasonable budget as long as the proper attention and preventative care is given. However, if asphalt is allowed to degrade over time without proper maintenance, high cost repairs like reconstruction or full depth replacement are imminent.