In the vast landscape of urban development, asphalt lots reign supreme. Whether driving through the city streets, entering a shopping mall, or pulling into your driveway, asphalt’s dominance is ubiquitous. However, this king of roads comes with its share of problems. Despite its durability and efficiency, asphalt lots can face various issues, from cracking to fading. But fear not; these problems, like most, have their solutions. Let’s dive into the five common issues with asphalt lots and explore how to solve them effectively.
1. Alligator Cracking
One of the most recognizable problems with asphalt lots is alligator cracking, fractures that resemble the skin of an alligator. This issue usually originates from a weakness in the sub-base layer, excessive loads, or a lack of proper drainage.
The Solution: Addressing the underlying problem is crucial to repair alligator cracking. This often means replacing the damaged pavement section, improving the base layer, and ensuring effective drainage.
2. Block Cracking
Another familiar sight on asphalt lots is block cracking, significant, interconnected cracks that form a roughly rectangular pattern. They’re often the result of the asphalt’s inability to expand and contract with temperature changes.
The Solution: These can be fixed using a method known as crack filling, where the cracks are cleaned and filled with a hot rubberized filler. Regular seal coating can also be beneficial to prevent block cracking, as it helps to preserve the asphalt’s flexibility.
Rutting refers to the depressions or grooves that form in the wheel paths due to heavy traffic loads. Severe rutting can lead to water pooling, causing further damage to the pavement.
The Solution: Minor rutting can be corrected with asphalt overlays. However, the affected layer may need to be removed and replaced if the rutting is deep. It’s also crucial to ensure the asphalt mix is well-designed and installed to resist rutting in the future.
Potholes can be a nightmare for drivers and pedestrians, causing vehicle damage and increasing the risk of accidents. They’re usually the result of the asphalt’s wear and tear, exacerbated by water seeping into cracks and freezing, leading to further damage.
The Solution: Potholes can be repaired using patching. This involves cleaning the pothole, preparing the hole with a tack coat to ensure a good bond, and then filling it with hot or cold asphalt mix. Regular maintenance can help to prevent potholes from forming in the first place.
Asphalt lots often fade from a rich, dark black to a dull, light gray over time due to exposure to UV rays and weather elements.
The Solution: Sealcoating restores the original black color and protects the surface from oil, gas, and water damage. The sealing coat of your asphalt lot every 2-3 years is advisable to maintain its appearance and prolong its lifespan.
In conclusion, while durable and efficient, asphalt lots have their fair share of problems. However, as we’ve discovered, these common issues, whether it’s alligator cracking, block cracking, rutting, potholes, or fading, each have effective solutions. Regular maintenance and proactive measures can keep your asphalt lot in tip-top shape, ensuring a smooth ride. Remember, every problem is just a solution in waiting. So, pave the way forward, and don’t let these common issues hold you back from enjoying the ride.