Damage that can occur to your asphalt pavement shows up in cracks and sunken areas, and when it is not properly repaired, the damage can lead to further deterioration and potholes. As winter approaches, it is a good time to repair any cracks and damage to minimize the effects the winter weather will have on your asphalt. Winter weather, freezing, and thawing in spring can make damage worse over the surface of your asphalt, so here are some tips to help you repair them for the upcoming season.
Fill the Surface Cracks
Cracks that appear over the surface of your pavement start out as thin cracks as the asphalt's emulsion binders dry out. Then, as moisture seeps into them and freezes, or the asphalt dries out further and the cracks can widen and grow, eventually growing to the size of potholes. Filling the cracks will prevent further deterioration and restore the surface of your asphalt.
Make sure you complete all repairs on a sunny, dry day. First, use a broom to sweep out or a pressure washer to spray out any debris from within the cracks. Also remove any vegetation in the cracks by pulling it out or scraping it with a sharp trowel.
Use an appropriate asphalt patching material to fill the cracks, depending on the width of each crack. For wider cracks, use a cold mix asphalt mixture to fill the crack, tamping it into the crack with a hand tamp. For thinner cracks, you can use a liquid asphalt emulsion crack filler. You can also fill small cracks with a crack filler rope, which you unroll and press into the crack, then soften it to fill the crack with a propane torch or the heat of the sun.
Repair a Deeper Problem
Occasionally, you may encounter an area of your asphalt that has begun to sink and form a pattern of cracking over its surface. This type of damage is usually caused by a failing base foundation below the asphalt layer, resulting in settling and cracking damage. This can occur after excess moisture runoff from thawing has caused the foundation to erode. It can also occur when the base foundation was not installed properly.
To repair this damage, you will need to remove the failing asphalt and its foundation material, replacing the base material with compacted gravel to provide a solid support for the new asphalt surface. You can hire an asphalt company to make these repairs or complete them yourself with the proper materials and equipment.
For more information and help with your repairs, contact a professional asphalt company or visit websites like http://www.capitalpavingrva.com.