Royal Pavement Solutions


What Is Your Long Island Asphalt Pavement Telling You?

There are some things that do not show the stress that they are under until they finally break. For example, a car’s windshield may look fine, but after being exposed to direct sunlight for many years, it can spontaneously crack. As a rule, asphalt pavements are not like that. They typically give visual evidence that they are in distress. If you know what to look for, your Long Island asphalt pavement contractor may be able to salvage your pavement before the distress gets so bad that a removal and replacement is your only viable option.

What Are the Signs of Distress in Long Island Asphalt?

Long Island asphalt pavements are exposed to seasonal temperature fluctuations, heavy traffic, and occasional bouts of severe weather. These factors can cause an occasional pothole, cracks, or other relatively minor damage. However, when paving contractors speak of distress, they are not speaking of these types of damage. Instead, they are discussing the following signs.

1. Ruts in the pavement are normally confined to the wheel path. They indicate that the asphalt, its foundation, or both are not sufficient to withstand current traffic levels or weights.
2. Alligator cracks are a special type of asphalt cracks. They connect to form a pattern reminiscent of an alligator’s scales. They usually result from a weakened, destabilized foundation that has been eroded by water that seeped below the surface. However, they can also develop if the asphalt is too thin to support the demands placed on the pavement. Rarely, they can develop if the commercial paving contractor who constructed the pavement was unable to achieve proper compaction of the asphalt.
3. Pumping refers to mud or water that traffic forces to the surface of the pavement. It indicates that water has penetrated beneath the asphalt and is likely eroding the foundation. The most likely cause of pumping is an inadequate drainage system.
4. Flushing is what a parking lot paving company calls the smooth, shiny blotches that can appear on an asphalt pavement, typically in the wheel paths. Normally, flushing is caused by too much asphalt cement in the mix.
5. Tears or crescent-shaped wrinkles indicate a bond failure. Bond failures, which typically happen within a year of the installation, allow vehicles to encourage the pavement to move. The most common cause is an installation error.
6. Shoving creates a damage pattern that often resembles a washboard. Shoving normally shows up where vehicles brake and accelerate, including near crosswalks or stop signs. The most common cause is an incorrect mix that contains too little aggregate or too much asphalt cement.

How Can Distressed Long Island Asphalt Be Repaired?

If the distress is identified soon enough, it may be feasible to repair a Long Island asphalt pavement in a cost-effective manner. However, it will depend on how much of the pavement is affected and the type and cause of the distress. There can come a point when reconstructing the pavement is more cost-effective. If a Long Island paving company determines that a repair is a good option, one of the following methods will typically be used.

1. Resurfacing: A predetermined depth of the asphalt can be ground off with a milling machine, then an overlay can be installed. Overlays require a stable foundation, so they are not always cost-effective if more than about 30% of the foundation has been compromised.
2. Patching: Depending on the problem and the extent of the damage, a full- or partial-depth patch may be a solution. To install a patch, paving contractors typically saw out the damaged area, then rebuild it. With a full-depth patch, contractors remove the full depth of the asphalt to expose the foundation, enabling them to repair it. With a partial-depth patch, the foundation is not exposed.

Royal Pavement can assess your asphalt pavement, recommend the best course of action, and execute the solution. We offer a wide range of paving services, including asphalt resurfacing, asphalt paving, sealcoating, asphalt milling, building maintenance, parking lot striping, asphalt crack sealing, concrete repair, site work, and concrete flatwork. We are a respected company with an impeccable reputation. Submit our online form today to request a free quote. If you prefer, you can send an email to If you wish to discuss your paving needs over the phone, you can call us at 844-777-7924.

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