What are the Biggest Challenges to Pavements?
Pavement failure is a major problem which costs time and money to fix, not to mention all the inconvenience involved in the process. According to the experts at Parking Lot Pros, pavement services are necessary for a variety of reasons. Nevertheless, weather conditions are often the main culprit, and there is not much that can be done to prevent problems such as ice and snow. Parking Lot Pros do say that pavement protected with seal coating, for example, will be less susceptible to failure and damage.
What Causes Pavement Failure?
Pavement failure describes a variety of different issues that can affect road and driveway surfaces such as asphalt and concrete. Problems such as cracking, depression, potholes, and rutting are common in pavement and are typically caused by stress from heavy traffic, water intrusion, sun exposure, and seasonal changes in temperature that causes the surface to expand and contract. It must be mentioned though that pavement failure occasionally occurs due to issues at the installation stage.
For example, if asphalt or concrete is laid on an uneven base layer or if the surface of the pavement laid has not been smoothed properly. Sometimes the issue occurs when the mixture is not prepared correctly, which can then lead to separation problems. Furthermore, laying new asphalt on top of old or on top of concrete is something that is quite common, but this can also cause issues such as cracking, particularly if the old surface was already damaged.
How to Prevent Pavement Failure
One of the easiest ways to prevent pavement failure is by using seal coating, which can be applied to asphalt as well as concrete. Seal coating prevents liquids such as water, oil, and other chemicals from seeping into the surface of the pavement and causing damage from below.
When liquid is allowed to penetrate beneath the surface of the pavement it can result in issues, particularly so during the winter months when freeze/thaw cycles are more common.
Seal coating keeps pavement in good condition for many years and will prevent it from staining as well, so it is a common solution for pavement driveways too. It prolongs the life of the pavement and keeps it looking pristine. However, it should be noted that it needs to be reapplied every two to three years.
It is not just pavement failure that we need to worry about in terms of pavements. In fact, a shortage of skilled laborers and funding can have an impact on our roads and lead to pavement failure getting worse. When there are not enough skilled tradesmen to repair damage to roads, or the funding to pay for these repairs, cracking and potholes can get worse.
As an example, minor cracks that are not repaired can become major cracks and then potholes, which are then often the cause of serious accidents. It is vital then that pavement services are carried out as soon as any damage occurs. Unfortunately, for various reasons, this frequently doesn’t happen, and the pavement is not dealt with until the damage is extensive. This costs more time and more money.
Road and driveway pavement can fail for many different reasons. Sometimes it is seasonal changes that have the biggest impact; at other times, issues at the point of installation can be the biggest challenge to the integrity of the pavement. What is clear though is that with regular maintenance and preventative measures such as seal coating, pavement can look good for longer and will have more of a chance of reaching the end of its expected lifespan.