Asphalt repair: Signs of needed maintenance and a job well done

Asphalt repair: Signs of needed maintenance and a job well done

Asphalt is a long lasting and physically appealing choice for construction projects on commercial properties. It’s a combination of gravel, stone, sand and other materials bound together by asphalt cement. Its durability provides for a smooth surface that can last for many years. However, despite best efforts, the day will come when your commercial property’s asphalt needs repair.

In order to maintain the integrity of your paving structure, property managers and owners should keep an eye out for indicators of needed asphalt repair or replacement.

Alligator cracks

Cracking patterns that resemble alligator scales are known as alligator cracks. Visibility of these patterns are likely indications of the paved surface’s foundation deteriorating. This issue should be fixed as soon as it’s noticed to prevent cracks from worsening.


A once dark and rich-coloured asphalt unfortunately won’t retain such vibrancy over the years. Exposure to sunlight, natural wear and tear, and/or aging of the asphalt results in the surface beginning to look faded. When this happens, the pavement structure starts to lose its binding agents and oils leads, leaving behind a dull, brittle, and weakened surface.

Drainage issues

A smooth asphalt surface should permit excess water to easily run off without puddles remaining. Poor drainage causes early pavement distresses leading to driving problems and structural failures. With improper drainage, water can collect in the low spots on your commercial property, causing further damage to your asphalt surface.


Heavy vehicle traffic and/or an insufficient or compromised base can cause your asphalt surface to appear wavy or warped, which can result from improper installation.

The process of repair

Whether you are looking to repair, replace, or newly install a paving structure, there are more indications of a well done, or poorly done, paving job than meets the eye. While the work may look like it’s done well cosmetically, there are various aspects to keep an eye on that may indicate otherwise.

  • Good foundation – A solid subgrade and a strong aggregate base are crucial for all new paving surfaces. This means that any loose, soft, wet dirt needs to be replaced with a compacted rock base to stabilize the earth and properly support the pavement above.
  • Seamless transition areas – The new layer of asphalt should blend smoothly with the old coating, with smooth transitions between the new pavement and other paving surfaces, curbs, or drains. The presence of bumps can significantly affect the ride quality of the road. A well-laid paving surface should have no bumps as cars or trucks roll over.
  • Thickness of overlay – The heavier the traffic, the thicker the asphalt layer should be. Inaccurate thickness can lead to premature cracking and poor stability beneath the surface. Paving experts should be able to easily evaluate your paving needs and provide an optimal solution.
  • Water drainage – Water may be the biggest enemy to asphalt. It has the power to erode the structure quickly. All new asphalt should have a good slope and good drainage performance to keep water running off and never pooling on, or nearby the surface.

Giving your commercial lot’s asphalt surface a long life requires timely assessments to recognize areas of needed maintenance. With these tips in mind, commercial property owners can be aware of when to repair their asphalt paving and asses when the job is done well. Ensure you get the right team of paving experts who can get the project right the first time.