How is Asphalt Maintenance Done? Maintaining an asphalt pavement involves four important areas. Water penetrating into the asphalt base is the main cause why asphalt begins to fail. Asphalt gets brittle and dry in the course of time, and when this happens the material wears away and begins to crack which then allows water to seep into the base of the pavement. The base material will then move and settle when water seeps into the cracks. This results in a grid-like cracking on the surface. Soon the pavement will crack and when this happen you should either replace the old asphalt or patch repair it. When doing patch repair, you only consider isolated areas of the pavement. The pavement is removed used a backhoe and saw-cutting. Grinding machines can also be used for this purpose. Replacing the old asphalt that was removed by new asphalt is the next step. The removal method determines the amount that is removed. You should remove asphalt to a depth of 1.5 times the original thickness of the asphalt. In order to have a uniform base support, you should replace the base rock so that it matches the adjacent area. The amount of removal should be extended a foot past the area that failed. The maintenance method using asphalt overly is one that is affordable and provides a new wearing surface. If you are going to do an asphalt overlay you should consider certain important factors. The maximum overlay thickness should be 2.5 inches and the minimum is 1.5 inches. Grinding down the pavement should not be done on the overlay section so that he existing structure will be matched. The overlay strength could be weakened if you do this. To prevent this they need to grind the existing pavement down to where they meet flush together.
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Another aspect of asphalt maintenance is to inlay and pulverize in place. This is accomplished using a milling machine. You remove existing asphalt when you do the inlay process. This depth is many times a previous overlay. The contractors will then put the asphalt back to the pre-inlay elevation. The method of pulverize-in-place will reduce all of the asphalt to particles that are base-rock size.
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Seal coating is an important part of extending the life of asphalt and it should not be overlooked. Seal coating is a mixture of mineral fibers, emulsified asphalt, and water along with other admixtures. In order to prevent water from penetrating the pavement surface, it is important to seal coat the top layer of the asphalt and this will protect the top layer from wear from sun exposure and oxidation. This is where the asphalt gets its even black coating.