Asphalt & Pavement Condition Guide

What is the condition of your asphalt?

Asphalt »

Total Pavement Repairs:

If repairs are required for more than 25% of the entire area it may be more economical to replace or overlay the entire surface.

Grade depressions:

Water is asphalt’s biggest enemy. “Birdbaths” (standing water on the pavement) will eventually destroy the asphalt in this area. The problem is most commonly caused by frost expansion in the gravel base or in the sub-grade. At a minimum, these areas should be dug up and full depth patched. The long-term solution is to resurface the area so there is not any standing water.

Dumpster areas:

If the pavement has failed because these areas were under designed, the pavement should be reconstructed from the base up.

Water Seepage:

Water seeping through a crack on a dry day may indicate an under pavement drainage problem. Do not fill these cracks with any type of crackfiller or sealer. It would be a waste of time and money.

Alligatored areas:

Interconnecting cracks forming a series of blocks resembling an alligator’s skin. This problem is usually caused by not maintaining the asphalt or a base failure problem. The problem areas should be removed and full depth patched.

Seal Coating »


Before coating or crack filling, grass or weeds must be removed.

Old or dried out asphalt:

Pavement that is usually several years old that has never been sealed may need to be primed with a polymer modified pavement primer prior to coating.

Previously coated asphalt:

If the asphalt has been coated before with refined coal tar emulsion, or asphalt emulsion sealer, use of the same type should not cause problems. However, if it has been coated with a gilsonite based sealer (uncommon, it will leave a very shiny appearance), all of this coating will have wear off before other sealers will adhere to the surface.

Raveling or very porous asphalt:

Stones have come out of the surface or the surface has a very “rough” texture. If the asphalt is not sealed, it will degrade rapidly. In severe cases an overlay of asphalt may be required.

Cracks »

Minor cracks:

Less than one half (1/2) inch wide. Note the percentage of area they cover. The coating itself will fill these cracks about as well as they can be filled.

Structural cracks:

Cracks usually wider than one half (1/2) inch that extend from one edge of the surface to the other. All cracks, wider than one half (1/2) inch but less than one (1) inch, should be sealed with an elastomeric-type crack sealant; preferably hot-applied and non-tracking performance.

Large Cracks:

Cracks wider than one (1) inch should be patched with hot mix asphalt.

Grass growing up through the cracks:

Before coating the grass must be removed and the cracks handled as in a, b or c above.

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