How to maintain your asphalt
Asphalt and Bitumen pavements that are properly designed and constructed should not need maintenance for a number of years. Potential maintenance consists of three types of activities:
Crack Sealing: asphalt and bitumen pavements crack due to various reasons but the most common is either age or movement of the sub-base. This is usually the start of a pothole or larger failure.
Surface Rejuvenation is a process where the surface of the driveway is coated with layers of a specially prepared bitumen base product. Surface Rejuvenation is most effective in preventing or halting deterioration of pavement surface caused by age or chemical spills and for aesthetic reasons such as after a repair of a small area to make the entire area look uniform in colour. Some products also allow for a colour to be added.
Overlays: The most cost-effective maintenance of an driveway or car park is to place a thin asphalt layer to the surface before it breaks down severely.
Caring for your Asphalt pavement
Bitumen Chip Seal and Asphalt pavements are produced with a thermoplastic material bitumen binder which gets harder as the ambient temperature goes down and gets softer as it goes up. These mixtures are designed to be flexible to minimize cracking under normal loads and to seal the road base which is the foundation of any driveway, car park or road.
Care should be exercised in the use of asphalt and bitumen pavements, particularly early in the life of the pavement, for example:
- Motorcycle or bicycle kickstands and jockey wheels for trailers should be placed on blocks or pads to prevent indentations into the pavement surface.
- Care should be exercised in turning vehicles with power steering while the vehicle is stationary as surface scuffing may result.
- Over time trees also have a habit of sending their roots under pavements forcing the surrounding ground away & uplifting the surface.
Bitumen binder is a by-product of the distillation of crude petroleum and is soluble in other petroleum products or fuels. Care should be exercised to prevent spillage of petrol, diesel, motor oil or other products that would damage the asphalt/bitumen surface.
If a spill does occur, immediate action is necessary to prevent permanent structural and/or aesthetic damage to the driveway surface. Steps include:
- Use absorbent material to remove excess spilled substance and dispose of appropriately,
- Flush the surface with water from a hose to wash away and/or dilute the product spilled,
- Use a household detergent with degreaser and a brush with non-metallic bristles to thoroughly scrub the spill area and then re-rinse with water.
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