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There are four areas to consider when it comes to asphalt maintenance. When water penetrates into the asphalt base, then this is the primary cause of the failure of asphalt. 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. So when water seeps into the cracks, it causes the base material to move and settle. There will be a grid-like cracking on the surface when the base materials move and settle. Replacing the old asphalt or patch repairing it are the two options you can take when your pavement begins to crack.
Patch repair deals with isolated areas. With a back hoe and saw-cutting, you can remove a portion of the pavement. Grinding machines can also be used for this purpose. Replacing the old asphalt that was removed by new asphalt is the next step. The amount that is removed is determined by the removal method. You should remove asphalt to a depth of 1.5 times the original thickness of the asphalt. The base rock may also have to be replaced so that it matches the adjacent areas to allow for a uniform base support. The amount of removal should be extended a foot past the area that failed.
An affordable method of maintenance is using asphalt overlay which provides a new wearing surface. If you are going to do an asphalt overlay you should consider certain important factors. The overlay should have a maximum thickness of 2.5 inches and a minimum of 1.5 inches. If you are going to grind down the existing pavement, do not do it on the overlay section to match the existing structure. The overlay strength could be weakened if you do this. They will grind the existing pavement down to where they meet flush together to prevent this.
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Inlaying and pulverizing in place is another aspect of asphalt maintenance. You should use a milling machine to do these tasks. A depth of existing asphalt is removed during the inlay process. You should do it at a depth which is deeper than a previous overlay. Then asphalt is put back to the pre-inlay elevation. Pulverize in place method reduces all of the asphalt to base rock sized particles.
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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. Seal coating the top layer of the asphalt will help prevent water from seeping in the surface of the pavement and this will help protect the top layer from wear for exposure to the sun and oxidation. This is where the asphalt gets its even black coating.