Asphalt Pavement Dilemmas & Solutions

If you are responsible for overseeing the installation or maintenance of asphalt pavement, you have probably encountered at least one aspect that left you uncertain. If so, you are in good company — most people have questions about asphalt pavement.

The useful life of asphalt pavement depends on its use and the maintenance it receives. For example, assuming that a parking lot is constructed properly and professionally maintained, it will last between 20 and 30 years. However, a well-constructed parking lot that does not receive proper maintenance can require replacement in as little as 10 years.

How Should I Maintain My Asphalt Pavement?

Have a reputable contractor repair asphalt cracks in the pavement as soon as possible to prevent water penetration. Sealcoating should be applied as needed; most pavements need to be sealed every 18 to 24 months, but annual applications are sometimes needed. Clean your pavement regularly to remove spills of automotive fluids.

How Long Will the Pavement Remain Closed to Vehicles?

It depends on the nature of the work and the temperature; cooler temperatures can mean longer closings. If you are having an asphalt contractor apply sealant, plan on keeping vehicles away for 12 to 24 hours. If you are having the pavement resurfaced, you can normally allow vehicle access in 24 to 48 hours.

Isn’t Sealcoating Just for Looks?

Although asphalt sealcoating restores faded color and enhances the appearance of asphalt pavement, it is primarily a protection against damage. The sun’s rays, for example, can make asphalt pavement dry and brittle. Automotive fluids can turn asphalt pavement soft and crumbly.

Do Any Asphalt Contractors Work During Winter Months?

Many contractors have crews available all year to handle emergencies. However, there are limits to the type of work that can be done once temperatures fall below 50 degrees Fahrenheit and stay there. There may be an isolated day or two during which conditions allow contractors to handle emergency repairs. The best way to handle cold weather is to winterize your pavement no later than the middle of autumn.

What Is Involved in Winterizing Asphalt Pavement?

Have all potholes and cracks repaired to ensure that water will not be able to penetrate beneath the surface of the pavement. Remove accumulations of leaves, trash or other debris and remove leaked automotive fluids. If you are due for sealcoating, have it applied. Clean out catch basins and drains to ensure that melted snow and ice can flow away freely.

Why Is There So Much Concern Over Water?

Many people assume that asphalt’s waterproofing abilities make it impervious to water damage. It is true that water will not cause direct damage to asphalt pavement. However, it can cause indirect damage. If water reaches the foundation that supports the pavement, it can erode the foundation. A compromised foundation can lead to alligator cracking, potholes and other damages that can be costly to repair.

How Do I Know When I Need to Rebuild the Pavement?

An experienced, reputable contractor can evaluate your pavement to see whether it requires total replacement. However, some factors you need to consider are the age of the pavement, its overall condition, the stability of the foundation and the success or failure of previous repairs. Typically, if you have alligator cracking and/or foundation problems over more than half of the total pavement, you will probably save money by having the pavement replaced, especially if it is nearing the end of its expected life.

Should I Rebuild or Resurface?

If you rebuild your pavement, this means that the existing pavement will need to be removed; the rest of the process is similar to new construction. Resurfacing means that the existing pavement has a layer of new asphalt applied over its top. Resurfacing can be an excellent way to get the appearance and functionality of a new pavement at a reduced cost. If your pavement does not have large areas in which the foundation has been damaged, it might be a candidate for resurfacing.

Why Are the Quotes I Received from Different Contractors All for Different Amounts?

There could be a number of reasons for the different amounts. Examine the quotes carefully. Are they for the same scope of work and the same quality of materials? If so, are there some quotes that are relatively close? The difference is probably related to mobilization costs, which are the expenses that the contractor pays for transporting materials, equipment and employees to the site; the greater the distance between your site and the contractor’s site, the higher the mobilization costs.

If you have more questions, contact the asphalt sealcoating contractors at B&E Coating Services. We specialize in asphalt maintenance, including sealcoating, crack repairs, parking lot striping and infrared asphalt repairs. For more than 18 years, we have been known for our outstanding workmanship and superior customer service. If you would like to request a free estimate, you can submit the online form or call (989) 352-7305.