Asphalt Paving – Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some frequently asked questions and answers related to asphalt paving on parking lots and residential driveways.  Of course, there are many more, but here are the most common:

1.  What causes asphalt deterioration?

Water can enter the asphalt surface through cracks and cause base failure.  This will result in more cracks, larger cracks and potholes.

Cracks occur over time because asphalt is a flexible pavement surface.  Hot rubber crackfill will fill the cracks and help prevent water getting below the asphalt surface.

Oxidation is a natural occurrence that appears over time in asphalt paving.  To help minimize oxidation and prolong the life of your asphalt surface, it should be sealcoated with a coal tar emulsion approximately every 2-3 years.

Petroleum spills can cause damage to asphalt because, like asphalt, petroleum is an oil based substance.  The oil in the petroleum will dissolve the “glue” that holds the asphalt together and cause premature failures.

2.  How long will asphalt pavement last?

A well constructed and maintained parking lot or driveway should last an average of 20 years.  Maintaining your asphalt pavement with crackfilling and sealcoating every 2-3 years will help prolong the life of your paved surface.  May factors can affect the life of the asphalt, such as extreme weather conditions, heavy traffic and not maintaining the asphalt on a regular basis.

3.  How long do you have to stay off newly paved surface?

Curing time varies depending on the outside temperatures.  In warmer weather (think Florida in the summertime) it could take up to 3 days.  In milder climates, normally the asphalt would be cured in 24-48 hours.

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