Common Issues with Asphalt Driveways

October 26, 2020

Common Issues with Asphalt Driveways

As a material for driveway pavement, asphalt has its benefits and downsides. Like any material, it can be adversely affected by weather, structural failures, and gradual wear and tear.

Knowing what these common issues with asphalt driveways are, and what causes them, is crucial for early detection and repair.

Rutting

Ruts are depressions, or deformations, in the asphalt pavement's wheel tracks. There are multiple causes of rutting, including insufficient pavement thickness, a stone or soil base, weak asphalt mixes, excessive moisture, or a lack of compaction.

Minor or stabilized rutting can be filled and overlaid, while severe deformations require removal and replacement.

Cracks

Cracks, the most common issue, come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and depths.

Alligator cracking mimics the appearance of an alligator's skin. They are caused by structural failures, which occur due to thin or weak surfaces or bases, or poor drainage.

Block cracking forms in large, interconnected squares. These cracks normally caused by shrinkage of the asphalt or an improperly expanding binder.

Transverse cracking consists of a long, thin, and perpendicular crack. It's caused by poor construction or weather-related wear and tear.

Slippage, joint reflection, edge, and linear cracking are other forms you'll need to watch out for.

Depending on the severity, cracks can be fixed with depth patches, crack sealing, or removal and overlays.

Upheaval

Another common issue with asphalt driveways is upheaval. Upheaval is when swelling subgrade creates a localized, upward movement in the pavement. This occurs because of rapidly expanding soils that are affected by moisture or frost heave.

Upheaval is fixed with a full depth patch.

Raveling

The continuous separation of aggregate particles is referred to as raveling. Fine aggregate leaves pock marks on the asphalt's surface. Over time, these marks grow bigger, with certain particles breaking free.

Raveling occurs for a lot of reasons, but one of the most common is poorly timed placement. If asphalt is placed during cold weather, the mixture becomes susceptible to pavement surface voids, densification, and kneading of the asphalt mat.

Raveling can be remedied with a thin hot-mix overlay, sand, chip or slurry seals, or micro surfacing.

Shoving

The formation of ripples in the pavement is referred to as shoving, or wash-boarding. Shoving is caused by excess asphalt, a weak granular base, fine aggregate, and more.

Like upheaval, shoving is fixed with a full or partial depth patch.

NAC Supply is your home for asphalt maintenance products, like sealcoat tanks and crack sealing equipment. Come look through our inventory—you’re sure to find what you need!



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