Imagine dealing with bad drivers, dealing with the natural elements, and taking abuse on a daily basis, no I am not talking about the daily commute to work rather I am talking about what asphalt surfaces go through every day. Asphalt damage is dynamic and happens in a variety of ways. The mode of asphalt failure is important to understand the quality and maintenance of asphalt surfaces.
The most obvious factors that affect asphalt surfaces are weather, wear-and-tear, and time. Water causes a lot of damage to asphalt surfaces in the form of different weather elements such as rain or snow. Additionally, the constriction and expansion of asphalt surfaces due to weather causes damage. Furthermore, the abuse that roads and parking lots take from vehicles, especially large ones, will only perpetuate the destruction of asphalt further. As time goes by, all of these factors are intensified and asphalt will fail faster if it is not properly maintained.
One common mode of failure for asphalt starts as cracks, which are caused by the varying temperatures in the environment. Eventually cracks become potholes with time and lack of maintenance. If left untreated, obviously potholes become bigger until the asphalt surface has failed completely. Additionally, asphalt may fail in other ways from having poor quality construction from the beginning.
How long asphalt pavements will last also depends on the quality of materials and the techniques that are used for construction. If the construction of an asphalt road or parking lot is built on a sub-par foundation with bad materials or if the asphalt is not compacted properly, naturally asphalt will fail faster. An asphalt surface may sink with time if the foundation were it was laid on is not strong enough.
Understanding how asphalt surfaces fail is the crux of having better asphalt quality and better asphalt maintenance plans. That is why an experienced paving company will know how to maintain an asphalt surface proactively. Proactively maintaining asphalt surfaces such as roads and parking lots is important to avoid costly repairs.