Asphalt Paving Dilemmas
Most people do not deal with Asphalt Paving Dilemmas on a daily basis, so many of them are not sure how to care for their pavement to maximize their return on the investment. There are often questions that arise when seeking to repair, maintain or reconstruct asphalt pavement. The following list includes the most common dilemmas that customers frequently encounter.
Asphalt Paving Dilemmas – The List
1. What Is the Life Expectancy of Asphalt Pavement?
It is impossible to provide a universal answer regarding the life of asphalt pavement. Installation quality, traffic and the caliber of preventive maintenance throughout the pavement’s life can all have an impact. There are stretches of busy interstates, and asphalt driveways, that have not failed during the more than 50 years they have existed, but there are parking lots that have needed total replacement in as few as eight years. To give you an idea, however, a well-constructed parking lot that receives proper maintenance has an average life of 20 to 25 years.
2. When Should I Abandon Repair Attempts?
It can be difficult to determine when it is time to tear out your existing pavement and replace it rather than continue to repair it. The nature and extent of damage are normally the deciding factors. If more than about 40 percent of the pavement has alligator cracking or foundation issues, it will likely be more cost-efficient to reconstruct the entire pavement. However, you should ask a reputable asphalt contractor for a thorough evaluation before abandoning attempts to repair your pavement.
3. What Are the Critical Maintenance Procedures?
The two critical maintenance procedures are sealcoating and repairing breaks in the pavement such as cracks or potholes. Removing automotive fluids that have leaked on your pavement is almost as important.
4. How Long Should the Area Be Closed?
Regardless of the type of work, your area will need to be closed to traffic for a certain period. During the summer months, a freshly sealed pavement can normally be reopened in less than 12 hours, while a resurfaced pavement can often be reopened in about 24 hours. When temperatures are cooler, the closures may be as much as 50 percent longer.
5. What Are the Biggest Threats to Asphalt Pavement?
Asphalt pavement is remarkably resilient and durable. However, if you want to ensure that your pavement achieves the maximum life possible, watch out for the following.
• Water that finds its way underneath the pavement can damage the foundation. Have cracks filled promptly and keep drains clear to prevent water from seeping under the edges of the pavement.
• UV radiation dries asphalt pavement, making it brittle and easily damaged. The sun is also responsible for fading the pavement’s color. Sealcoating blocks UV rays to protect both the appearance and the health of asphalt pavement.
• Automotive fluids can soften asphalt pavement. If you maintain your sealcoating, you will have a little more time to remove these stains before the fluids eat through to the asphalt. However, you should still remove automotive fluids thoroughly once or twice a year.
• Allowing traffic on the pavement that weighs more than the pavement was engineered to support can be disastrous. If your pavement was engineered to support passenger vehicles, for example, do not allow tractor-trailers to drive or park on it.
6. How Do I Care for Asphalt Pavement in the Winter?
• Hire a professional snowplow service if you need to remove snow and ice. If the plow’s blade is set incorrectly, it could remove your sealcoating or even chunks of your pavement.
• Use chemical deicing agents sparingly. Some of these deicers can stain or damage your pavement. Ask your local asphalt paving contractor to recommend the best deicer for your needs.
• Have your pavement in good repair and properly maintained before cold weather arrives.
• Do not assume that a serious problem will need to wait until summer to be remedied. There are certain times when an experienced contractor can help you prevent additional damage.
7. Can Cracked Pavement Be Resurfaced?
Resurfacing involves paving a layer of new asphalt over existing pavement. It is sometimes possible to resurface asphalt pavement that is cracked. However, the damages will need to be repaired prior to resurfacing. If cracking — especially alligator cracking — is present on most of the pavement, reconstruction may be more economical.
8. How Often Should I Have Sealcoating Applied?
Most asphalt pavements should have sealcoating applied every two years. However, your schedule could vary. For example, a parking lot that receives only light traffic might need to be sealed less frequently, while one that receives an extremely high volume of traffic might need annual sealcoating.
9. Why Are All My Quotes Different?
A common reason for differences in quotes is that not all of the contractors are using the same specifications. Perhaps one misunderstood the scope of the work, while another is using inferior materials. Compare every detail to make sure that you are reviewing quotes for the same scope and quality.
10. Must I Schedule All Work for the Summer Months?
Although asphalt paving contractors tend to be at their busiest during the summer months, most of them are happy to extend the season into late fall or begin in late spring. The weather is the determining factor for deciding whether work can be done. There are many days outside of the normal season when the weather is adequate.
Dirtworks is a locally owned asphalt paving and excavation company serving the greater Cape Cod area. We offer an extensive range of services, including asphalt paving and repairs, parking lot striping, sealcoating, snow removal, site work and more. We have an exceptional reputation for providing outstanding results at competitive prices. If you would like to request a free estimate, call (508) 240-5541 or complete the online form.
Asphalt Paving Dilemmas – MCE Dirtworks, Inc is here to help!
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