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Life Cycle Of An Asphalt Pavement

As cars depreciate in value the moment they’re driven out of the showroom, asphalt pavements also start to deteriorate from the first day onwards. Having said that, asphalt pavements can last up to 35 years, provided you maintain it well.

At Action Asphalt, we specialize in asphalt paving and repairs in SacramentoClick here to learn more about our asphalt maintenance solutions.

And in today’s blog post, we will describe the life cycle of asphalt pavement, and how you can add more years to it.

The Asphalt Life Cycle

The trajectory of an asphalt pavement starts with new construction that requires little or no maintenance and reaches a point where the entire structure needs to be replaced. How long this takes depends on several factors.

Here’s what the life cycle of asphalt looks like:

  • Stage 1 

This stage covers the first 5 years, and the new pavement requires little or no maintenance.

  • Stage 2

In the next couple of years, the first signs of damage appear, usually in the form of cracks. There are several types of asphalt cracks, ‘alligator cracks,’ being the most common.  Stage 2 is the preventative maintenance phase, where procedures like sealcoating and crack sealing keep the pavement in good condition.

  • Stage 3

Approximately from year 7 to 15, this stage also involves minor repairs and continued preventative maintenance with patch repairs and a second round of sealcoating.

  • Stage 4

Stage 4 extends from year 15 to 25. During this stage, major repairs are required, such as asphalt overlay and milling and resurfacing. Patching and sealcoating will continue as usual.

  • Stage 5

From year 25 to 35, this is the last stage of the asphalt life cycle, where you will have to go for complete removal and replacement of the asphalt.

Factors that Affect the Asphalt Life Cycle

Several factors impact how long your asphalt pavement will last before requiring reconstruction and replacement. The weather and daily wear and tear are all contributing factors that determine the condition of your driveway or parking lot.

Water damage also counts for a lot. If water accumulates on the surface or seeps into the base, your pavement will soon have cracks and potholes.

It also depends a lot on how well the pavement was constructed initially. Factors like an inexperienced contractor, poor quality materials, and/or a weak base mean that the asphalt will reach deterioration faster than usual.

Moreover, the external factors may also change during the life cycle of the asphalt. This includes new construction in the surrounding area, new traffic patterns, etc.

All these factors play a significant role in determining how long your asphalt pavement will serve you. Suffice to say, timely maintenance and repairs will keep your pavement intact for long. This makes asphalt a cost-effective material for the construction of driveways, minor roads, parking lots, etc.

Ultimately, the life span of an asphalt pavement depends a lot on the paving company that performs the initial asphalt construction and maintenance.

If you reside in Sacramentoclick here to learn more about our asphalt services at Action Asphalt.