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Causes for Asphalt Deterioration
Causes for Asphalt Deterioration

Causes for Asphalt Deterioration

What Are the Main Causes for Asphalt Deterioration?

Hoerr’s Blacktop & Sealcoating contractors often get asked, “What are the main causes for asphalt deterioration?” Though asphalt offers incredible durability, its surface and underlying layers will breakdown for a variety of reasons. In fact, scientists from Hokkaido University in Japan revealed that organic matter introduced to the asphalt by its environment or during manufacturing often is the culprit. Though they are working on new forms of long-lasting asphalt, they have not solved the problem yet.

Why It Is Important to Know the Main Causes for Asphalt Deterioration?

As a property owner, you can take steps to combat problems if you are aware of the main causes for asphalt deterioration. Also, you can identify areas of potential wear and tear in its early stages to make repairs before total breakdown. For that reason, we will focus this blog on some of the top factors that cause asphalt to crack, erode, or develop holes. So, please continue reading for helpful tips on avoiding problems with your asphalt.

Most Frequent Causes for Asphalt Deterioration

Asphalt is the pavement option of choice for both residential and commercial property owners because it is affordable and long-lasting. Unlike concrete, asphalt provides a high contrast in color between the pavement surface and markings. Therefore, it provides safer driving conditions because drivers can more easily see where they should and should not go.

Unfortunately, many property owners do not maintain their paved surface properly. As it result, their parking lots, driveways, or roads will being to develop potholes or more serious issues. So, let’s begin to answer the question, “What are the main causes for asphalt deterioration?” Here are some of the most frequent causes for asphalt breakdown.

Trees Planted Too Closely to the Pavement

Many people do not realize that tree roots are one of the main causes for asphalt deterioration. If trees are planted too closely to your pavement, their roots can grow into the asphalt surface and crack it. Tree roots exert much more force and contain a lot more strength than most expect. Unless you properly sealcoat your asphalt, roots will do the following damage:

  • Create Surface Potholes
  • Penetrate Grout Lines of the Pavement
  • Substantially Weaken the Integrity of Underlying Asphalt Layers

Inadequate Drainage

Poor drainage may top the list of answers for the question of what are the main causes for asphalt deterioration. Since asphalt surfaces are porous, water can penetrate them. Therefore, water that collects on the surface during the storm can seep down to underlying layers without adequate drainage. The following damage will result:

  • Cracks
  • Spalling asphalt
  • Pitting asphalt
  • Corrosion
  • Development of potholes

For private property owners, you can avoid drainage issues a few ways. First, make sure to maintain drainage ditches around your property. Next, make sure to clear out debris from your gutters to avoid water being directed to your pavement. Finally, you should include drains underneath and around your driveway to give water places to drain away easily.

Chemical Exposure

Chemicals such as gas or oil that leak from vehicles are also main causes for asphalt deterioration. The compounds inside these chemicals weaken sealant on the surface. Then, the chemicals seep into layers under the surface and degrade the asphalt near its base. Fortunately, this is one of the easiest forms of damage for you to prevent. Simply make sure to clean up any oil or gas spills on your pavement as fast as you notice them. If you notice damage to your sealant, contact Hoerr’s Blacktop & Sealcoating for our sealcoating services to address it.

The Sun’s UV Rays

Ultraviolet rays are another one of the main causes for asphalt deterioration. The UV rays degrade the bond between asphalt and its gravel base. As a result, this will cause your pavement to crack or become brittle and break apart. With that in mind, it is important during the asphalt paving process to use qualified contractors. That way, you can make sure your asphalt gets compacted and sealed properly. Also, you can protect your asphalt from UV damage by sealcoating it every 2 to 3 years.

Temperature Extremes

The freeze and thaw cycle we experience in Central Illinois also accounts for one of the main causes for asphalt deterioration. During the winter, water seeps below the pavement surface, freezes, and expands when it heats up again. When the asphalt expands, it will form cracks and eventually break apart. This process is one of the most common causes for potholes. To minimize this sort of damage, make sure your asphalt contractors use quality paving products.

 Causes for Asphalt Deterioration

Final Thoughts

You can take steps to combat damage now that you know more about the main causes for asphalt deterioration. Hoerr’s Blacktop & Sealcoating can provide you with some of the best asphalt repair and maintenance services to avoid premature degradation of your pavement. Contact us right away if you notice significant damage from any of the issues discussed in this blog. We can deliver fast and affordable installation, repair, or asphalt milling to recycle your current pavement into a new surface.