Asphalt Driveways
Common Problems to Look Out For

Question to the Valroc team:

I noticed on your website that you do asphalt services. Some minor cracks have begun to appear on my asphalt driveway, and I was wondering if they could lead to further asphalt driveway problems down the road. What is the cause of asphalt cracks and can they lead to other problems?

Answer:

Thanks for contacting us, and please feel free to contact us for any of our asphalt services.

Depending on the location of the cracks, the age of the asphalt, and what the location is used for (foot vs vehicle traffic) cracks result in different ways. We have included some information below to help you identify what might be going on. If the asphalt is still under warranty, I would highly recommend contacting the installer and have them visit the location to make an assessment.

Regards,

the Valroc Team

Question to the Valroc team:

I noticed on your website that you do asphalt services. Some minor cracks have begun to appear on my asphalt driveway, and I was wondering if they could lead to further damage down the road. What is the cause of asphalt cracks and can they lead to other problems?

Answer:

Thanks for contacting us, and please feel free to contact us for any of our asphalt services.

Depending on the location of the cracks, the age of the asphalt, and what the location is used for (foot vs vehicle traffic) cracks result in different ways. We have included some information below to help you identify what might be going on. If the asphalt is still under warranty, I would highly recommend contacting the installer and have them visit the location to make an assessment.

Regards,

the Valroc Team

The best way to prevent further asphalt driveway problems is to identify its defects and take action. This list will help you decide if you need to make some major repairs, repave, or simply touch some things up.

What is the main cause of  asphalt driveway problems?

Top offenders:

  1. Excessive weight
  2. Water penetration
  3. Temperature – breaking down the material or softening
  4. Lack of maintenance 

Excessive weight – Over time excessive weight will start to break down the top material. Tire rotation, aggressive tread, and loads that exceed and push the overall limitations will surely cause it to crack over time. It’s important to advise any installation contractor what your overall usage and expectations are of the area. If the area is going to be potentially used by heavy equipment or trucks, it’s recommended that reinforcements are installed. Sometimes this extra cost is marginal compared to having to repair the entire area later.

Water penetration – Water can create structural failure within any asphalt surface. Water enters the sub base and starts to migrate underlying supportive materials and combined with repetitive traffic it breaks down and creates several issues.

Temperature – Moisture in the asphalt expands and contracts as a result of temperature changes. A little research on the temperature changes in your area will go a long way with your contractor. Freeze-thaw cycles change due to varying elevations, so it’s best to let your contractor know ahead of time so that the correct drainage can be installed.

Maintenance – We recommend booking schedule times for typical maintenance items such as your asphalt. Take a look at the surface and do a general inspection every 6 months. Taking the time to reroute water issues, cutting potential tree roots, re-sealing the surface or calling in an asphalt contractor to do a re & re can restrengthen your investment.

PRO+ TIP.

  1. If your asphalt is a potential high volume area, post signs with usage limits
  2. Limit the potential for water damage by re-routing water pathways away from the asphalt surface
  3. Regularly scheduled inspections can save you money. Do a quick walk around every six months
  4. Maintenance, Maintenance, Maintenance… We can’t stress enough how important it is to fix small problems before they progress.

Don’t be afraid to ask your contractor for an estimate. Although a pothole may look small, the moisture it’s gathering inside its base will cause much further damage down the road. By asking your contractor for an estimate, they’ll be able to let you know what the right course of action is and how to minimize damages.

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What are Spiderweb and Alligator Cracks?

Hence the name, these cracks resemble alligator scales or a spider web. These small cracks are an early sign of major asphalt driveway problems. They are minor to fix but will lead to much more serious asphalt driveway problems over time if not tended to right away. They are also called fatigue cracking and are very common in asphalt pavement. Sizes can be up to 300mm across. Numerous factors can contribute to their cause, but they are typically a result of loading failure. Increasing the depth of the asphalt layer usually prevents spiderweb cracks from happening.

Causes of Sinkholes and Birdbaths

Sinkholes and birdbaths are generally caused by the ground settling after the driveway was surfaced. This problem is a result of a poorly constructed foundation or the base has washed away over time. Once the base has washed away, the heat from the sun warms the asphalt enough to contour to the missing base, causing the surface to sink. If they are much deeper than 6 centimetres, extensive repairs may be required.

Asphalt Pothole

Asphalt Pot Hole

Asphalt Spiderweb

Asphalt Aligator Cracks

Asphalt Sinkhole

Asphalt Sink Hole

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Written by team Valroc. We are a dedicated team of construction specialists using our knowledge and expertise to build a stronger community. We promote an environment where we can learn, grow, and prosper together.
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2017-10-05T14:36:30+00:00