Louisiana and Pennsylvania have recently experienced one of the deadliest hurricanes in US history. The historic devastation has affected many homes and businesses in various ways, including damaging pavement due prolonged submersion underwater. Although roads and parking lots do not typically go underwater at once, they can still have lasting effects on them over time if they are submerged for long periods or repeatedly flooded.
When dealing with floodwater that has been sitting around for weeks or months, there are three main things to look out for: sedimentation (which causes rough surfaces), scour (when fast currents run under asphalt causing potholes), and gas release from organic material which gives off bubbles when trapped air escapes after drying up. Each will cause problems if neglected until long-term effects start showing their faces – like cracks or deteriorating sealant joints between panels of roadways.
Water negatively affects asphalt’s strength by increasing the natural degradation rate and weakening material from below through freeze-thaw cycles or chemical reactions with other materials present on roads, such as deicing chemicals used for winter weather maintenance.
While we can’t stop a hurricane from ravaging asphalt roads, parking lots, etc., we can reduce the damaging effects of water on the pavement through preventive maintenance. Professional companies like The Pavement Group in Westchester County, NY, can save your pavement from water damage through prompt asphalt repair.
The following are the three primary preventive ways to save pavement from water damage.
Sealcoating provides a layer of protection to the asphalt pavement by blocking out water, oils, UV, chemicals, etc., while providing a slip-resistant surface in addition to beautifying the pavement, giving it a lustrous black finish. The sealcoat is typically a bituminous-based product mixed with silica sand, polymer additives, other proprietary fillers, and solids.
Asphalt pavement typically has a life of 10-20 years before it requires rehabilitation. Periodic sealcoating can extend the asphalt’s lifespan by more than twice what is usually expected, saving you money in the long run.
When applying sealcoating products, follow the essential steps below to get optimum performance:
- Be sure to apply two coats.
- Temperatures should be a minimum of 50 degrees and rising for 24 hours after application. Do not apply if rain is imminent during this time frame or when temperatures are forecasted to drop below 50 degrees within that same day period.
- Once finished with your coating, allow 24 hours before allowing car traffic on the surface again so it has enough time to fully dry/cure.
Crack filling involves placing asphalt emulsion into non-working cracks to reduce water infiltration and reinforcement of adjacent pavement. Hot pour crack filling involves heated up blocks in a specially designed melting container, then applying it on roads, highways, parking lots. The advantage being quick set times.
Crack sealing is a cost-effective method; it helps preserve asphalt pavement for up to five years longer than usual. This process involves adding an adhesive material on top of pavement crevices so no water or other contaminants seep through them, causing damage underneath.
Crack sealing can be used for cracks wider than ¼ of an inch, including block cracking. Thermal and transverse are two kinds of longitudinal cracks that should be sealed before the pavement becomes too distressed.