What to Do to Prevent Pavement Failures

man looking disappointed

Pavement failures can be brought on by numerous variables. These can include stress from heavy vehicles, water intrusion, contraction and expansion from seasonal temperature changes, as well as sun exposure. It’s vital that you keep up with correct maintenance such as asphalt and crack sealing to prevent cracks from forming or spreading.


By far, asphalt cracking makes up for most pavement failure problems. This is due to its tendency to spread and wide array of elements that can contribute to cracks. It’s common for asphalt surfaces to crack over time due to the settling of soil and exposure to the outside elements.


If an alligator crack and other asphalt cracks aren’t treated, water starts to erode the pavement surface, all the way down to the sub base. This causes massive holes to form inside the asphalt which spreads to form potholes capable of causing damage to cars and trucks.


Rutting is a channeled depression within the surface of asphalt that forms over a period of time, often due to improper base construction and exceeded weight limits. Over a period of time, heavy cars and trucks compact the asphalt along the roadway, creating tire ruts. If rutting forms inside an asphalt surface, the base has to be restructured or repaired in order to account for heavier traffic of vehicles.


Ravelling is usually caused by the ongoing intrusion of water and degradation of the asphalt top coat. When the top asphalt bitumen layer wears down, sunlight and water will continually damage the asphalt’s surface, causing the bond between aggregate rock and asphalt bitumen to break. When ravelling happens, an asphalt surface loses its impervious properties and lets water seep the surface. As water starts intruding the asphalt’s surface, pavement failure and cracks become more prevalent.


A depression within an asphalt surface is formed by compactions or uneven sub-bases over a period of time. Depressions have a lower elevation than an asphalt surface which causes the space to hold water for a longer time. Build up of water may cause further problems like potholes or raveling.

As you create a list of all of the professionals you should add to your speed dial, do not forget your paving contractor. Get in touch with our team at Kissner Paving for a free commercial paving service estimate.