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Guide to Asphalt Maintenance When it comes to asphalt maintenance, there are four important aspects to consider. Water penetrating into the asphalt base is the main cause why asphalt begins to fail. When asphalt has been there for a long time it tends to get brittle and dry and will soon begin to crack, and these cracks makes way for water to penetrate and reach 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. Whatever method of removal you use will determine the amount that is removed. You should remove asphalt to a depth of 1.5 times the original thickness of the asphalt. In order to have a uniform base support, you should replace the base rock so that it matches the adjacent area. Your should remove asphalt up to 12 inches past the area that has failed. An affordable method of maintenance is using asphalt overlay which provides a new wearing surface. There are certain factors that one needs to be aware of when dealing with asphalt overlay. The maximum overlay thickness should be 2.5 inches and the minimum is 1.5 inches. When you are considering where to grind the existing pavement down, do not grind down the overlay section to match the existing structure. If you do this you would weaken the overlay strength. 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. A milling machine is used to accomplish this. During the inlay process, a depth of the existing asphalt is removed. You should do it at a depth which is deeper than a previous overlay. Contractors will then put back asphalt back to the pre-inlay elevation. When the method of pulverize in place is used, the asphalt will be pulverized to as small as 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. Mineral fibers, emulsified asphalt, water, and other admixtures are combines to make up the seal coating. In order to prevent water from penetrating the pavement surface, it is important to seal coat the top layer of the asphalt and this will protect the top layer from wear from sun exposure and oxidation. This is where the asphalt gets its even black coating.

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