8 Types of Asphalt Damage in Central Oregon

damaged asphalt in Oregon on a rainy day

Asphalt is a popular choice in Central Oregon because of how durable the surface can be – when mixed and installed correctly. However, poor asphalt installation and other issues with our seasonal weather changes can cause problems. Here are some of the most common repair issues we’ve seen with asphalt paving in Central Oregon, and why they cause trouble.

Asphalt is a popular choice in Central Oregon because of how durable the surface can be – when mixed and installed correctly. However, poor asphalt installation and other issues with our seasonal weather changes can cause problems. Here are some of the most common repair issues we’ve seen with asphalt paving in Central Oregon, and why they cause trouble.
 
Here is our list of the 8 types of asphalt damage in central Oregon:
 

1. Erosion

Erosion occurs when an originally stable soil base starts to deteriorate due to problems like moisture seepage or other erosion issues. Asphalt cannot stay stable on a surface that’s slipping away, so cracks start appearing. It’s important to take care of any erosion problems immediately before they become much worse. Sealants are often just a temporary fix for these serious cracks, so serious asphalt repair is usually necessary.
 

2. Sunlight Damage

Asphalt can be vulnerable to UV radiation from sunlight: This is one reason why asphalt installations tend to have top aggregate coatings of gravel and stone. However, if the top coating is worn away or asphalt does not have any top coating, the hot sun in Central Oregon summers can cause continuous damage, which leads to many small cracks that can quickly grow worse.
 

3. Wear and Tire from Studded Tires

Studded tires are excellent for traction in Bend’s busy winters, but they are very harsh on asphalt driveways and commercial paving, especially over time and frequent use. Studded tires can easily expose weak points in asphalt and cause potholes to develop – which must be patched and carefully monitored for further issues. Interestingly, the milder that winter is, the more damage studded tires can do to asphalt, so these issues may vary from year to year.
 

4. Fatigue (Alligator) Cracking

These telltale cracks look a bit like alligator scales and are caused by subgrade issues – sometimes related to the erosion issue we mention above, but often caused by improper preparation where soil wasn’t properly compacted before the asphalt was applied. It can also be caused by asphalt pavement that isn’t quite thick enough for the location. This indicates a need for significant repairs.
 

5. Shrinking and Block Cracking

Asphalt is durable against harsh weather, but it still tends to expand and contract a little with the seasons. This can block and joint cracking over time – a sign that the asphalt was not properly mixed for the temperature changes in Central Oregon. In these cases, asphalt services must fully replace the paving to fix the problem.
 

6. Depressions

Depressions are one of the most common “distortions” seen in asphalt pavement around Central Oregon. They’re also called bird baths, because of the classic bowl shape that quickly turns into a pothole. This is usually caused by unexpected substrate issues (such as a patch of earth that settles differently) or poor installation techniques.
 

7. Upheaval

Upheaval occurs when there is swelling from the subgrade beneath the asphalt, leading to bulges and cracking. This is often caused by frost build up underneath the asphalt when the temperature drops below freezing.
 

8. Raveling

Raveling is the technical term for when the aggregate coating on top of the asphalt wears away. This can happen over time, or can be caused by heavy traffic, but sometimes it’s also a sign of a poor asphalt mixture that is reacting badly to the weather.
 
Turn to Tri County Paving, a leading residential and commercial asphalt pavement contractor in Central Oregon for your asphalt maintenance and repair needs.

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