Some of the most common asphalt pavement problems include cracks, softening of the material, breakages, base issues and surface problems. Some chemicals, including oil and gasoline, can sink into the pavement and cause it to soften, making it more likely to deteriorate. Breakages in asphalt pavement are another serious problem. Water, oxidation and sunlight destroy the structure of asphalt, causing breakages to appear. Special seal coatings can protect pavement from these destructive influences.
Cracks are the most common and serious problems with asphalt pavement. Asphalt pavement contracts or expands when the temperature outside changes, causing cracks to appear. There are three types of cracks: large cracks wider than 1 inch, small cracks 3/8 inch wide or smaller, and structural cracks, which tend to expand across the asphalt pavement. For each crack type, there are different repair techniques. It is important to repair cracks regularly, as they tend to expand over time.
The three most common reasons for base issues include faults in construction, water sinking deep into the cracks, and water freezing inside the asphalt and causing it to expand. Numerous surface problems may occur with asphalt, including grass growing through the pavement, oil stains, damaged sealer and pavement that hasn't dried completely.