Pavement can be affected by a plethora of different problems.This can include alligator cracking, potholes, and other types of cracking.Moreover, there are many reasons why these problems occur. Sometimesit is a direct result of freeze/thaw cycles over the winter months; at other times, the problemoccur due to the age of the pavement and natural wear and tear. Occasionally though, issues with installation can cause pavement to deteriorate long before expectations.
What is Alligator Cracking?
Alligator cracking is so called because of its appearance and how it resembles alligator skin. It is also known as fatigue cracking, and it usually occurs as the asphalt deteriorates over time. According to the experts at Parking Lot Pros, alligator cracking is a serious problem in asphalt paving, one that needs to be repaired as soon as possibleto prevent further damage. A crack filler or asphalt seal coating can help prevent the spread of damage; the area should be left free from traffic while the surface is setting.
What are Potholes?
Potholes occur when water or other liquids are allowed to seep through the surface of the pavement. If the liquid freezes beneath said surface, it will expand and cause cracks. This can then result in small holes. The more traffic that the cracks and holes are exposed to, the worse the problem becomes until pieces of the pavement are dislodged and a large hole appears. Potholes need to be repaired by trained experts who will cut away a section of the asphalt and then repair the damage.
What are the Other Problems Affecting Pavements?
Pavements can also be affected by other issues, such as raveling, rutting, and depressions. These problems often occur due to issuesduring the installation of the asphalt. For example, if after installation of the asphaltthe period of expected warm weather did not arrive, the asphalt may not have been able to knead together as required. If this occurs, pieces of the pavement may separate and leave behind indentations. If left unrepaired, it can become a major problem. Raveling frequently occurs in pavements that have been laid at the wrong time of year, such in the late fall or early spring.
Pavement might also be affected if the base layer is too weak to handle the traffic load. The soil beneath the asphalt must be tightly compacted or else it can start to shift.When the asphalt is then exposed to a lot of heavy traffic, the weak base layer below will shift and cause indentations or ruts in the pavement.
The Importance of Pavement Management
When any of the above-mentioned problems occur in pavement, it can have a massive impact on road users. In fact, if left unchecked any of the above issues could cause a serious accident. A poor or defective pavement surface could become the main cause of accidents for cyclists, motorcyclists, and other vehicle users, so it is vital that roads are maintained and any problems are fixed as soon as possible.
Neglecting issuessuch as alligator cracks and potholes will not make the problem go away. In fact, it is only likely to get worse the longer it is left unrepaired. Repairing damage sooner rather than later could not only save lives, but it could also save money. The cost of repairing small cracks is far lower than it is to replace an entire road surface, which is what will usually be necessary if the damage spreads.
In conclusion then, pavements need attention to prevent minor damage from spreading and wreaking havoc on road users.