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Asphalt FAQ

What is asphalt

Asphalt is a simple mixture of stone and asphalt cement – otherwise known as liquid asphalt. The liquid asphalt acts as the binder, or glue that holds the finished asphalt pavement together. The types and sizes of aggregates used can vary according to preference and specifications for the job. The process of creating asphalt involves heating the aggregate and liquid in a drum to thoroughly mix and combine the two together. Once complete the asphalt is put into dump trucks and taken to the job site where it is installed as an asphalt pavement.

What Causes Asphalt to fail?

Assuming the asphalt pavement was installed properly, the main cause of asphalt failure is the penetration of water into the asphalt base. This process often begins with oxidation of asphalt caused by the sun. Oxidation causes the asphalt surface to become dry and brittle. When this problem goes unaddressed, cracks begin to form and allow water to penetrate into the asphalt base. With the changing of the weather and expanding and contracting of the asphalt, defects begin to form. Freezing weather causes water to expand and can then cause severe problems for the pavement – requiring costly and extensive repairs.

Left untreated without regular maintenance and repair, all asphalt becomes a victim to mother nature and harsh chemicals. Call on Unico Sealing, Inc. to help you eliminate costly repairs and extend the life of your pavement!

How can i prevent problems with my asphalt?

Like everything, asphalt pavement has a finite lifespan that will sooner or later end. Once an asphalt parking lot, road or driveway is installed, the elements of time and harsh chemicals begin to break it down. For this reason, it is important to begin a regular asphalt maintenance program for your parking lot within the first year, but no sooner than 90 days. Maintaining asphalt begins with applying an asphalt sealant to protect it from the harsh Pennsylvania weather. Later as asphalt begins to age, it may be necessary to repair asphalt cracks and other types of repairs to prevent water from getting into the pavement structure.

By initiating an asphalt maintenance program early in the life of pavement, it is possible to double the life of your pavement, preserving it up to 20 or 25 years. Without it, the life of your pavement will be severely shortened, sometimes requiring a complete re-install within the first 10 years.