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Asphalt paving offers economic, aesthetic, and safety benefits. However, these benefits can be negated by damaged asphalt pavements. Routine maintenance can normally help prevent many types of damage, but when damage occurs, it is important to repair it promptly.

What Is the Definition of Damaged Asphalt Pavements?

Most Atlanta paving contractors consider damage to an asphalt pavement as anything that has the potential to undermine the structural integrity or usability of the pavement. Thus, something that only affects the appearance of the pavement is not normally considered damage even if its solution is part of a paving maintenance plan. For example, a parking lot maintenance plan may include line striping. Although line striping is a vital part of parking lot safety and aesthetics, its lack will not harm the actual pavement. Typically, a paving company classifies damage into the following categories: cracks, sinkholes, swells, ruts, and ravels.

What Types of Cracks Can Appear in Asphalt Pavements?

An Atlanta paving contractor may include several subcategories of cracks within the broader classification. Most of the time, an inexpensive asphalt crack repair is all that is needed if the cracks are smaller than approximately half an inch. However, there are certain types of cracks that usually require a different type of parking lot repair. These include fatigue cracks, unusually deep or wide linear or transverse cracks, and block cracks. Typically, these cracks will require either an asphalt overlay or a parking lot repair procedure known as a full-depth patch.

1. Linear cracks are those that develop parallel to the pavement’s centerline.
2. Transverse cracks are those that develop perpendicular to the pavement’s centerline.
3. Edge cracks are those that develop near and parallel to the edges of a pavement.
4. Fatigue cracks, which are also called alligator cracks, can develop in any location. This cracking pattern almost always indicates structural damage that extends from the surface to the foundation. A full-depth patch is the best repair method for fatigue cracks.
5. Block cracks are large rectangles or squares that are interconnected. If identified while they are small, asphalt crack sealing may be a viable option. If neglected, they will require an asphalt overlay to remedy the issue.

When Discussing Damaged Asphalt Pavements, What Are Sinkholes?

Sinkholes are spots in which the pavement has fallen lower than the surrounding asphalt. If the pavement has broken, the sinkhole is called a pothole. A shallow sinkhole without a break in the pavement is usually called a birdbath. Both problems can usually be repaired with a patch, but the type of patch will depend on the sinkhole’s severity.

What Are Swells, Ruts, and Ravels to an Asphalt Paving Company?

As is the case in many occupations, paving maintenance contractors may use terms that have vastly different meanings than the general definition.

1. Swells are spots where the asphalt pavement has been uplifted. The uplift is normally the result of soil movement due to freezing and thawing cycles, but it may also be the result of fluctuations between wet and dry conditions. Swells usually require a full-depth patch to repair them.
2. Ruts develop along the path that cars and trucks follow when driving on an asphalt pavement. These indentations have many potential causes. Minor ruts can be repaired by filling and overlaying them. However, severe ruts will require the removal and replacement of the damaged asphalt.
3. Raveling occurs when an asphalt surface disintegrates and dislodges its gravel and other aggregates. Although there can be several causes, raveling can be described as the premature deterioration of the pavement due to an issue with the asphalt binder or mix. In most cases, the raveling does not go beyond the top one or two asphalt courses, so an overlay is the normal repair method.

The Surface Masters is an asphalt paving contractor and we can help you with a wide range of services, including asphalt repairs, crack sealing, asphalt maintenance, milling, asphalt paving, pavement markings, sealcoating, and concrete work. We have an impeccable reputation for service, professionalism, craftsmanship, and integrity. To request a free quote, submit our form online. If you would rather, you can email Info@TheSurfaceMasters.com, or you can call 770-250-6392.

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