The Basics Of Taking Care Of Asphalt Surfaces

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When you purchase residential or commercial property with a large amount of paved asphalt on the grounds, your property maintenance tasks will include monitoring the wear and tear of the pavement. If you do not take care of the paved surface you will end up paying for extensive repairs and resurfacing prematurely.

If you are clueless about pavement upkeep, the following guide provides you with the basics of maintaining and repairing asphalt surfaces on your property.

Problems With Cracks

While asphalt surfaces are durable and can last for years, over time the pavement material will develop cracks. Rain, snow, freezing temperatures, sunlight, vehicle liquids all contribute to the deterioration of asphalt and can cause cracking. Poorly constructed surfaces with drainage problems and improperly compacted asphalt are also vulnerable to cracks.

Before repairing cracks, you need to clean the affected area to remove any dirt and debris with a water hose or compressed air gun. If you use a water hose to clean a crack, make sure the pavement is completely dry before beginning repair work.

For small cracks you can use crack filling material available from hardware stores. However, if the crack is larger than a half inch, you may need to fill the crack with gravel and apply hot mix asphalt to the area. After large cracks are repaired it may take several weeks before the blacktop hardens.

Repairing cracks and fissures in pavement can be a messy project if you are not experienced in asphalt repair so it may be better to hire a professional for the job especially if there are also potholes or ruts in the asphalt.

Surface Treatments

You can extend the life of asphalt by sealing the pavement. Sealing helps to prevent damage from water, freezing as well as oil and gas spills. If you have a small driveway or parking lot, you can take on sealing the pavement on your own.

You should repair any cracks in the pavement before applying sealant. You should also pressure clean the surface prior to sealant application. After the pavement dries, you can apply a pre-mixed sealant solution.

When you are done sealing the asphalt, block off the paved area for a few days to prevent foot or vehicle traffic on the surface.

Depending on the size of your paved surface, you should apply sealant every two to four years. For brand new asphalt structures, apply a sealant 90 to 180 days after you install the pavement.

If you have a large parking or long driveway to seal, hire a contractor. Professionals will have the proper equipment and safety gear to protect themselves from extended exposure to the fumes of fresh sealant.

Removal of Asphalt

If you want to replace a paved surface that is beyond repair, you need to remove the old asphalt first. If the old surface has problems with drainage or develops cracks easily, you do not want to install new asphalt over the defective structure.

Removing asphalt from a severely damaged paved surface is a labor intensive project. You can use a sledgehammer, pickaxe and shovel to remove asphalt if you are up to a rigorous project that may take you more than a day to complete depending on the size of the paved surface.

You need to also research where it is legal to dump the old asphalt in your municipality. You may be able to dump the material at a facility that will recycle the asphalt.

To get the removal done quickly, hire a contractor, like K-W Cornerstone Paving LTD, with equipment specially designed to rip out asphalt such as a concrete saw and excavator. Furthermore, if you hire someone to dig up the asphalt, you will not have to worry about disposing of the materials. The contractors will haul away the old asphalt for you.


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