Nothing lasts forever — not even asphalt pavement. However, if asphalt pavement is installed properly and maintained correctly, you can reasonably expect it to last 20 to 30 years or longer. If not installed correctly or if the pavement is neglected after installation, the pavement can fail in much less time.
Major Contributors to Asphalt Pavement Deterioration
• Allowing cracks and potholes to go without repairs: Openings in the pavement permit water to reach the foundation that supports the pavement. If that happens, the foundation can become eroded, allowing potholes and significant cracks to form as the asphalt loses its ability to rebound from the loads placed on it.
• Not maintaining sealcoating: Fresh sealcoating needs to be applied periodically if it is to protect pavement. Sealcoating filters UV radiation and acts as a defensive barrier against automotive fluids. UV rays rob asphalt of its moisture, making it dry and brittle. Automotive fluids destroy the binders holding the pavement together.
• Subjecting pavement to loads it was not engineered to bear: Not all asphalt projects require the same specifications. For example, a home’s driveway designed for passenger vehicles does not need an asphalt thickness that is identical to a highway used by numerous tractor-trailers every day. If the weight and number of vehicles exceed design specifications, cracking can occur.
• Issues with the underlying soil: In most cases, asphalt driveway and commercial paving contractors have little trouble determining the amount of compaction that soil and sub-base need. However, soil conditions can change after installation, such as when the level of the groundwater rises unexpectedly or the ground beneath the pavement shifts.
• Installation errors: Asphalt paving can be a tricky substance to install, requiring training and experience to do correctly. The temperature of the asphalt must be within certain tolerances, the amount of aggregate in the mix must be precise and environmental factors, such as humidity, ground temperature and moisture in the soil, must be evaluated. Errors made during the installation process can be difficult to remedy, so make sure that you are dealing with a reputable contractor who has the expertise to do the job right.
At LDC Paving, we understand the unique challenges that our customers in Houston and its surrounding counties face. We offer a full range of asphalt paving, repair and maintenance services. Our crews have the training and experience to give you the best results at competitive rates. If you need crack filling, sealcoating, parking lot striping or any other type of asphalt service, submit our online form for a free quote or call our office at 832-640-7296.