A quick visual inspection can tell you a lot about your pavement. You just need to know how to read the cues. Learning to understand what your pavement is saying takes time, so we wanted to share a few tips with you. Today we’ll talk about everything pavement related from ruts to waves. We hope this information will allow you to make a proper inspection of your asphalt and understand when to call us for maintenance or repair before things get out of control.

Waves or Wash Boarding: Also commonly called shoving or corrugation. Waves are the most prevalent in areas where traffic stops and starts abruptly. Stop signs or at the end of the parking lot for example. Several things can cause corrugation, but this essentially means that the rock in the mixture isn’t performing its job properly or there is excessive asphalt cement in the mixture.

Flushing: The smooth, shiny surfaces that develop in wheel paths are referred to as flushing. This is a direct result of excessive asphalt cement (or glue) in the mixture. Very little can be done to repair flushing aside from replacing the defective materials with high quality asphalt.

Ruts: Rutting in relatively new asphalt is actually a structural insufficiency. Ruts create traffic hazards for drivers due to the way they grab tires and pull or push them into a different direction than the one they’re intentionally traveling. They also increase the risk of hydroplaning.

Water Emerging from the Subgrade: The subgrade can be thought of as the foundation for asphalt pavement. A faulty subgrade will lead to a poor paving job. Any time you see water coming from the asphalt instead of an outside source, you should call Rapco Asphalt Maintenance in Chicago for repairs. Potholes will be a never-ending cycle if the underlying problem isn’t taken care of before repairs are made.

Cracking: Cracks may be caused by a few different things. Water penetration deteriorates the structural strength of the pavement, the asphalt wasn’t compacted properly, or one or more layers of the asphalt are too thin. Drying and excessive bending of the top layer creates cracks.

Wrinkles or Tears: The bond between the subgrade and surface materials may fail, resulting in wrinkles. This bond may fail for a few different reasons, but usually it is due to an error during the installation process.

Chicago Asphalt Maintenance

Rapco Asphalt Maintenance is located in the Forest Park area, and provides all types of asphalt maintenance services to the greater Chicago area. Call us any time to schedule a consultation and discuss potential issues that your pavement is trying to tell you about.