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Click here to request your FREE* Estimate and no obligation pavement evaluation or call Seal And Coat (SM) anytime at 860.874.8444 Click here to request your FREE* Estimate and no obligation pavement evaluation or call Seal And Coat (SM) anytime at 860.874.8444 Click here to request your FREE* Estimate and no obligation pavement evaluation or call Seal And Coat (SM) anytime at 860.874.8444 Click here to request your FREE* Estimate and no obligation pavement evaluation or call Seal And Coat (SM) anytime at 860.874.8444 Click here to request your FREE* Estimate and no obligation pavement evaluation or call Seal And Coat (SM) anytime at 860.874.8444 Click here to request your FREE* Estimate and no obligation pavement evaluation or call Seal And Coat (SM) anytime at 860.874.8444

Recognizing Common Asphalt Problems and Issues

It is crucial to play a proactive role in maintaining your pavement. This starts by preventing problems before they start. From day one, as soon as your asphalt pavement is installed, numerous factors are working to deteriorate your pavement surfaces.

Water, the sun's UV rays, oxidation, oil, fuel and petroleum products and traffic are all working together to destroy your pavement surfaces.

New Asphalt Pavement Surfaces

New asphalt pavement has a rich, black color from the high content of asphalt cement used in the production. As the image shows, it is oily and tightly compacted. The aggregate is firmly in place

At this stage, it is crucial for the longevity of your pavement to apply an ultra-premium seal coating material between 90 days and 1 year after it's been installed. This will greatly help extend the life of the surface, and a small investment now will save 5X the money down the road.

With the rising cost of petroleum and oil related products, the cost of asphalt rises. It is crucial to maximize it's life span to gain a maximum return on your investment. The cost now will pale in comparison to the cost of complete pavement replacement when adjusted for inflation.

New, freshly installed asphalt.

Oxidation And Graying Of The Surface

As time passes, the combined assault of water, petroleum products, UV rays and traffic play their part to oxidize and deteriorate your pavement. As the pavement ages, it loses it's black appearance and takes on a gray look. This is a result of the asphalt binder drying out.

As time progresses, the asphalt pavement starts to dry out and become more brittle. This makes it more prone to cracking. The seams where one section of pavement meets the other during the paving process start to separate, which creates a void for water to penetrate into the base material of the pavement.

At this stage, it is crucial to implement a pavement maintenance strategy to protect your investment and stop the deterioration of your pavement.


As the pavement continues to age, the asphalt binder "glue" used to hold the aggregate (sand and stone particles) in the asphalt deteriorates to the point that it can no longer perform. The aggregate starts to loosen and become dislodged from the pavement surface.

Raveling causes your pavement to take on an extremely rough appearance. Overtime, your pavement wears thinner and thinner as more binder and aggregate is lost due to aging and oxidation.

Because of the rough texture, more wear is caused on vehicle tires, shoes, and plows. Injuries can also be more severe on this type of surface.

At this stage, it is crucial to sealcoat the pavement to restore the appearance of the pavement, as well as fill in the voids left behind by the aggregate loosening up. You can help stop pavement deterioration at this stage if effective action is taken immediately.

Linear Cracks In Asphalt Pavement

Linear Cracks, also known as transverse and longitudinal cracks are fairly common in aging pavement. These cracks typically start off small and expand over time. As the crack remains open, water is able to penetrate bellow the pavement surface into the base material. This causes further pavement damage and problems.

Cracks in your blacktop surface also fill with sand, dirt and debris. These incompressible materials spread the length of the crack and accelerate the deterioration of your surfaces. As pavement expands and contracts during hot and cold cycles, the incompressible materials in the crack have nowhere to flex and the pressure exerted causes the crack to expand.

As this process continues, the edges of the crack also crumble. This expands the width of the crack, and a small hairline crack will eventually grow to a 1/4, 1/2 inch and can ultimately reach an inch or more.

This solution for this problem is to clean any dirt and debris in the cracks and seal the cracks using a premium grade hot applied rubberized crack sealer. This effectively eliminates water seepage bellow the pavement and helps stop the growth of the crack.

By sealcoating your pavement early on, you help lock-in the flexible asphalt binder that ensures your pavement remains flexible. During hot and cold temperature extremes, this flexibility will play an important role in eliminating the amount and severity of cracks.


Alligatoring, Check Cracking, Spider Web Cracking - Beginning Stages

When cracks are left unfilled, the allow water penetration to enter the sub base of the material and soften it up. Without a good base, the asphalt is more prone to failure.

Water penetration and softening of the material leads to a condition known as alligator cracking, also known as spider web or check cracking. This is because the pavement surface resembles the skin of an alligator or a spider web.

Occasionally this problem is also caused by improper base installation and compaction during the paving process. It can also be caused by exceeding the weight limits the pavement surface was originally designed for.

During the beginning stages, this problem, if caught early, can be addressed in a relatively inexpensive way by utilizing a premium grade crack sealer to "hold" the pavement together and eliminate further water seepage. But in most cases, at this stage, the best long-term, permanent repair is to cut the pavement out just beyond the damaged area, re-compact the base material, and patch the area using a fresh hot-mix asphalt blend.


Extensive Alligator Cracks / Check Cracking / Spider Web Cracking

Left untreated, alligator cracks will ultimately expand and cause irreversible damage to your pavement. If these damaged areas are isolated in a few areas, cutting out and patching the area is still a viable option.

If your parking area has numerous areas that look like this that cover more than 50% of the total parking surface, the damage is too extensive to repair. With extensive alligator cracking, the only solution is to remove the old pavement surface, apply new base material, re-grade, and completely replace the surface by re-paving.

The key to maximizing your pavement investment is to address minor issues through strategic and preventative maintenance before the damage becomes severe and more costly.

At this stage, the pavement is a pothole waiting to happen. As soon as one of the small pavement pieces becomes dislodged by water, vehicle traffic or a snow plow - the rest will soon follow. This ultimately compromises the surface of the asphalt and a pothole is formed. As more broken pieces of asphalt become dislodged, the pothole will become larger and larger.


Weed, Grass And Vegetation Growth

When cracks, gaps and joints are left unfilled, an ideal condition exists to harbor the growth of various vegetation, weeds and grass. The dirt, debris, and soil in the cracks provide an ideal environment for vegetation growth in the cracks of the pavement surface.

This vegetation roots itself deep in your pavement, and as it grows, causes the crack to expand in both width and length. It also provides an ideal entry point for water penetration that could lead to more extensive damage noted above.

The solution is to burn the weeds with a torch if needed, and remove the vegetation, roots and dirt with a gas powered edger with a wire wheel attachment. After the crack is clean, applying a hot rubberized crack sealer will help prevent further vegetation growth and eliminate water seepage bellow the pavement.

The Best Solution

The best solution to the above problems is to implement our strategic preventative maintenance services early on.

The Seal And Coat APS System utilizes dynamic principals that are custom tailored to each individual clients needs. The APS, or Asphalt Protection System is a strategic multifaceted system we've developed to combine preventative maintenance, repairs, and cosmetic enhancements into a cost effective and combined series of tasks.

Click here to learn more about the Seal And Coat APS System

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