Common Asphalt Distresses

Having a crack in your asphalt driveway isn’t only unpleasant to see, but it can also be a hazard. Because asphalt driveways are set up as one continuous unbroken surface, they will usually crack and show wear and tear easier. Even with this predisposition, cracks and disintegration in your asphalt driveway shouldn’t appear for many years regardless of whether the material is concrete or asphalt.

Asphalt Distresses

Below are a few common distresses for asphalt and their causes:

Cracking: This is the most common distress for asphalt. There are many variations of cracking, such as fatigue, block and edge cracking.

  • Fatigue cracking: Most commonly referred to as alligator cracking. This is usually caused by deterioration that is resulted from a weak base due to heavy loads. If the pavement isn’t thick enough, overloading or a combination of these, wear and tear can cause the unsightly cracking.
  • Block cracking: This is typically caused by the asphalt pavement shrinking because of temperature cycles.
  • Edge Cracking: These appear within a couple feet of the pavement’s edge and are usually due to the lack of support at the edge of the asphalt.

Disintegration & Raveling: Disintegration is when the pavement breaks up into tiny pieces that get lost with wear and tear over time. Raveling usually occurs when traffic is present and gathers the particles from the pavement.

Distortion: Distortion is usually caused by the instability of the asphalt mix or weakening of the base/subgrade layers. Distortion also includes rutting, shoving, depressions and more.

When any of these issues are present, it’s important to fix them right away to ensure the safety of yourself and others. Driveway repair contractors can help assess the issues of your driveway and decide the best approach to fix the issue. Contact the Seattle asphalt paving company, Roads Paving, today for more information. 

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