There’s a lot of asphalt out there; America’s roads and sidewalks are predominantly made from this economic, durable, and versatile material. For the vast majority of Americans, not a day goes by when we don’t walk or drive on one asphalt surface or another. If it weren’t for the discovery of asphalt, our paving jobs wouldn’t be nearly as economical or reliable.
But asphalt does break down; this is something we all know to be true as well. There are always patched cracks on any asphalt surface that’s been around awhile. Sometimes the cracks aren’t patched at all. Sometimes there are serious potholes and warped areas that make it problematic to drive or even walk on the pavement. There’s a lot of asphalt out there that’s badly in need of repair — but for whatever reason, the repair is overlooked. The pavement is left to deteriorate over time, until the situation gets bad enough to mill or remove the entire existing surface and start fresh. This represents a much more sizeable investment, and people/businesses who end up in this position often ask themselves: Why didn’t I repair the little problems before they became big ones?
There are other cases in which surface repairs really won’t do much to solve the problem. We’re talking, of course, about faults in the base or sub-base layers — this is the part of an asphalt installation that holds up the surface, keeps it in place, and prevents it from becoming warped and cracked before it should. The base and sub-base layers are just as important to the overall quality of the pavement as the surface.
Of course, the surface of the pavement is the only thing we really see, but we’re really using the entire installation, including the deeper layers. These need to be done correctly, to a high professional standard, if the pavement is going to last its full life span and remain in good shape for as long as possible before any kind of repairs are necessary. And again — if the installation is good throughout, it could be a decade or more before any manner of repair work is called for.
There are many elements that cause asphalt to break down over time. Changing temperatures is one. In New Jersey and other states with cold winters, the air can dip well below freezing one day and, weeks later, the melting snow can create steadily running water. The expanding and contracting that comes with freeze and thaw cycles eventually wears asphalt down. Pressure is another factor. When asphalt installations are subject to constant weight and traffic, they will inevitably begin to show signs of wear before an installation that doesn’t see much action.
Repairing asphalt is often a very economical and fast process. If you’re working with a real professional, they’ll have all the tools and know-how to realize the repair quickly and effectively, without breaking the bank. But if you hire the wrong company, your repair work might not be done to the highest standard. That’s why it’s important to find someone who really knows asphalt, and has built a reputation for quality repairs.