Common Asphalt Problems


As the surface oils oxidize, the oils or binders begin to evaporate and the surface begins to fade to a whitish gray appearance. As the oils dry out, the asphalt looses its ductility (flexibility) and cracking and raveling will begin. The best solution is to maintain your property using Pavement Dressing Conditioner (PDC) asphalt rejuvenator.


Ponding is due to improper grading and leveling at the time your asphalt cap was installed. This problem can be corrected by installing a Hot Mix Asphalt to raise the area. Do note that by doing this, it is not a guarantee to remove the standing water as you cannot chase water. Typical results usually end up with either a shallower pond or relocation of the water to the right or left of the original area. Be sure to check that you have proper drainage on site. If this problem occurs suddenly, another problem is at fault and the proper contractor should be contacted.


Dips can occur for various reasons. Evaluating the area near the dip can help determine the cause. In this picture, note the drain nearby. This type of dip is the result of a broken sewer pipe that has created a void underground. Repairing the pipe first is the best solution, however, can be quite costly. If the dip appeared suddenly, repair immediately. If the dip has been around for awhile, it could possibly be a root ball that has deteriorated over time. A quick solution to help save some money would be to apply Hot Mix Asphalt to the area and see if is continuing to sink, if so, repair immediately.


This is a result of an unstable base. If the base is not compacted properly, once traffic is released, the constant shifting underground causes the asphalt to crack and shift. Once these cracks hit the base and water intrusion is allowed, the deterioration will accelerate and the asphalt will begin to crumble. Saw cutting and removing the defective asphalt and compacting the base prior to installing hot mix asphalt is the ONLY solution.

Repeated Repairs

Paying for a repair once is bad enough, however, to have to pay for it twice is even worse. This picture was taken on a property that had to have this area repaired 3 times prior to our arrival. The better contractors offer warrantees with their work, usually anywhere from 90 days to 1 year. Watch your repairs closely and call the contractor immediately should problems arise.

Deteriorated Edges of Repairs

Deterioration of the edges of repairs are the result of numerous things. In this picture, this cut is improper and should have been squared prior to repair. Request that all repairs be neat, clean straight edges. The additional cost is pennies compared to the price of a repeated repair.

Inverted Drainage Lines

Some contractors when installing the original roadways paved the road to have an inverted line in the center to help direct water flow. Though a great solution for drainage, these areas deteriorate faster than the rest of your asphalt. Once your base has been exposed to these types of cracks, the center area must be removed and replaced. Catching these cracks early on can save you lots of maintenance money later on.

Cracking Along Roadway

When your asphalt does not have curbing to hold it in place, it begins to spread out from the weight of traffic causing your edges to become weak and thin and begin cracking. To install curbing at this point can be quite costly. When you decide to repair the damage, inquire with a curbing company on what the cost would be to install it at that time.