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5 Kinds Of Pavement Failures And How To Cure Them!

Key Takeaways:

  1. Pavement is essential to everyday life, but it can be susceptible to failure.
  2. Pavement failure is when the asphalt surface loses its original shape and experiences stress. This can cause problems like potholes, depressions, cracks on edges, bleeding, and rutting.
  3. Common reasons include poor drainage, incorrect mix design, poor compaction, extreme temperatures, and lack of maintenance.
  4. You can do some things to extend the life of your pavement, such as having it regularly seal coated, filling in cracks and potholes right away, sweeping and regular cleaning.
  5. Try to avoid pouring excessive amounts of water on your pavement, and repair any damage immediately.

Ever since the first humans began to walk, they’ve been looking for ways to make it easier. One of the earliest solutions was paving – covering a path or road with a material that would make travel smoother and more comfortable. Over time, pavement has evolved from simple rocks and stones into modern materials like asphalt and concrete. In the United States, a nearly unfathomable 18 billion tons of asphalt pavement coating is present on our roads.

Pavement is now an essential part of everyday life, but have you ever been driving along and hit a big ol’ pothole? It’s not only annoying, but it can also be downright dangerous. Not to mention that it messes up your suspension and steering. Pavement failure is a huge problem here in the United States, with roads and highways crumbling under the weight of traffic.

In this post, Action Asphalt will look at what causes pavement failure and some solutions to help fix the problem. So, pull up a chair, and let’s get started!

Asphalt Pavement Failure – The Why & How

Many people who own residences, commercial buildings, and municipalities often suffer from asphalt failure. It’s an unfortunate problem that can strike anyone at any time. Still, there are alternative repair solutions available to combat it.

One positive aspect of asphalt pavement defects is that you won’t need to replace the entire surface. Cracks and potholes form in the pavement for several reasons, such as very cold temperatures, lots of precipitation, salting, and strain. Suppose you fix those cracks or potholes early on. In that case, it will prevent your asphalt from further deterioration – which could cost you more money or sometimes even require replacing the entire asphalt surface.

Performing routine maintenance and repairing small cracks and potholes is very important. By doing so, you can stop small problems from turning into big ones, which will save you money in the long run by extending the overall lifespan of your asphalt. If you don’t give your asphalt surface proper maintenance or first-stage repair, cracks and potholes will grow larger, resulting in the need to replace the entire surface.

What is Pavement Failure?

When the asphalt surface loses its original shape and experiences stress, it’s called pavement failure. This can cause problems like potholes, depressions, cracks on edges, bleeding, and rutting.

Common Asphalt Pavement Failures

Asphalt pavements are durable and long-lasting, but they can still fail. Here are some common reasons why asphalt pavements fail:

1. Poor Drainage

If water cannot drain properly from asphalt pavement, it can lead to several problems. First, standing water can cause the asphalt to deteriorate faster. Additionally, when water freezes, it expands and can crack or break the asphalt.

2. Incorrect Mix Design

The mixed design of asphalt pavement is critical to its performance. If the proportions of the various ingredients (asphalt, aggregate, etc.) are off, the pavement can be more susceptible to failure.

3. Poor Compaction

If asphalt pavement isn’t compacted properly, it can also lead to problems. Poor compaction can cause the pavement to settle and crack over time.

4. Extreme Temperatures

Asphalt pavements are designed to withstand a certain range of temperature fluctuations. However, if the temperature swings are too extreme (either hot or cold), it can cause the asphalt to break down and fail.

5. Poor Maintenance

Regular maintenance is key to keeping it in good condition, as with any pavement. If asphalt pavement isn’t seal-coated or cared for, it will deteriorate faster and be more likely to fail.

If you’re noticing problems with your asphalt pavement, it’s important to take action immediately. These issues will only get worse over time and can eventually lead to a complete pavement failure.

Also read: Is It Possible to Pour Concrete Over Asphalt?

Prolonging Your Asphalt Pavement’s Life

Fortunately, there’re some things you can do to prolong your pavement and avoid these problems. Here are a few tips:

1. Have Your Pavement Regularly Seal Coated

Sealcoating is the best you can do to lengthen the life of your pavement. It protects the asphalt from sun damage, water damage, and wear and tear. Sealcoating should be done every 2-3 years or more often if your pavement is in a high-traffic area.

2. Fix Cracks and Potholes Right Away

Cracks and potholes are not only ugly, but they can also lead to bigger problems down the road. By filling them in right away, you can prevent further damage and extend the life of your pavement.

3. Sweep And Clean Regularly

Keeping your pavement free of debris will help it last longer. Be sure to sweep up leaves, sticks, and other debris regularly. It would be best if you also cleaned any oil or grease spills as soon as possible.

4. Don’t Pour Excessive Amounts of Water on Your Pavement

Too much water can cause the asphalt to deteriorate and crack. If you must wash your pavement, be sure to use a hose with a nozzle attachment so that you only use water as necessary.


5. Repair Any Damage Immediately

If you see any cracks, divots, or other damage, it’s important to have it repaired as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the worse the damage will become. Taking care of your pavement can extend its life and keep it looking its best.

Asphalt pavements are a durable and long-lasting option for many homes and businesses. However, they require some care & maintenance to stay in good condition. Following these tips, you can keep your asphalt pavement looking its best for years.

Looking For Asphalt Services in Sacramento? We Can Help!

If you encounter potholes, pooling water, or cracks while walking on your pavement, immediately call our experts at Action Asphalt. Many other contractors would pave new asphalt over the damaged surface (known as a ‘skin patch’), but this is only temporary and will eventually cause more problems. We prefer to take the damaged asphalt out so that further deterioration won’t occur.

Let Action Asphalt provide you with high-quality asphalt solutions that are both timely and budget friendly. We’re open all week to serve your asphalt and concrete needs in Sacramento – paving, repair, or anything in between. Get free quotes today!