When a reputable asphalt company constructs a new pavement, projections about the pavement’s useful life assume that the customer will maintain the pavement. The contractor assumes that the customer will apply fresh seal coating periodically, restrict traffic that weighs more than the pavement was designed to bear, and remove oil stains in a timely manner. The contractor also assumes that the customer will ensure that any breaks in the pavement will be promptly repaired or patched. Allowing cracks and potholes to go without repairs is a sure way to reduce the life of a pavement by as much as 60 percent. Most patching and repair methods are very economical, but even the costliest methods are far less expensive than tearing out and rebuilding the pavement.
What Methods Are Used to Patch or Repair Asphalt Pavement?
Asphalt crack repair is typically the most common type of damage remediation for asphalt paving companies. Cracks pose a threat to the health of asphalt pavement that is far greater than many people realize. Beneath the pavement lies a foundation that gives the pavement the strength to hold up under the weight of traffic. This foundation can be compromised if water flowing through open cracks dislodges or washes away the foundation materials. Alligator cracking, potholes, massive cracks and dips in the pavement will likely follow quickly. All of these problems will be more expensive to repair than a timely crack repair. Contractors normally repair cracks with one of the following economical methods.
1. Crack filling is a method in which filler material is inserted into a properly cleaned and prepared void. Filler material tends to cure to a rigid, somewhat brittle state, and since it has little flexibility, it can become dislodged during seasonal fluctuations in temperature. Therefore, the procedure is usually a temporary fix that must often be repeated annually. This method is not recommended for working cracks.
2. Crack sealing uses a rubberized material that will flex with the movement of the pavement. Although sealants may be placed inside the crack, they are always placed over the top of the crack and extended onto the surrounding pavement by about 12 inches. Asphalt crack sealing is a longer-lasting method and is the preferred method for repairing working cracks.
Patches can be used to repair a variety of pavement issues, including potholes and cracks that cannot be sealed or filled. The methods used primarily depend on the time of year, the customer’s budget and the overall condition of the pavement.
1. Infrared asphalt restoration is a relatively new patching method that is often used to repair potholes, level low areas or high spots, eliminate overlaps, repair soft spots in the pavement, or repair some areas that are suffering from alligator cracking. The damaged area is heated to soften the pavement, certain additives are incorporated, new asphalt is introduced, and the patch is compacted. The result is a seamless, aesthetically pleasing repair that can normally be performed even in cold weather.
2. The traditional patching method is to remove the damaged pavement, usually by sawing it out. In most cases, the foundation materials are exposed so that repairs can be made. Layers of new asphalt are placed and compacted. This method is normally quite durable, but it is less attractive and often more expensive than infrared patching.
3. Throw-and-go and throw-and-roll patches do not have particularly long lives, but they are sometimes needed if there is no time to use a different method. For example, a large pothole may be endangering the safety of commuters and their vehicles, but inclement weather is expected shortly. Throw-and-go is exactly what the name implies; workers place asphalt in the pothole and drive away. Throw-and-roll is similar, but workers make some attempt to compact the asphalt.
All Pro Asphalt is a paving contractor and we can assist you with all of your asphalt repair, maintenance and paving needs, including infrared asphalt restoration, seal coating, traditional asphalt patching, asphalt crack repair, pavement striping and asphalt paving. We also repair and install concrete. We have built an outstanding reputation by providing outstanding work and going the extra mile for our customers. If you would like to learn more about our services or request a free quote, just call our office at 816-249-6800 or fill out our online form.