Common Pavement Problems

Despite our best efforts to slow the process, asphalt will ultimately begin to age and deteriorate over time. The combined forces of Chicago winters,oil/gasoline and chemicals, general wear and tear, even the UV rays in sunlight will eventually cause your pavement to slowly break down. As asphalt ages, it starts to lose its flexibility and its ability to resist water penetration. Small cracks will appear, water will penetrate and the freeze/thaw cycles that we allexperience herewillbegin to cause those cracks to grow and will eventually break apart yourasphalt surface. Although sealcoating is not a structural repair for disintegrating asphalt, it cansignificantly prolong the life of yourpavement if applied as a part of an ongoing asphalt maintenance program. In fact, professional sealcoating and maintenance can double the life of your asphalt at very little cost. You should protect your investment, keep your asphalt shielded from damage and keep your property looking great. Sealcoating will provide all 3!

Some common problems that can occur with asphalt that is not properly maintained or installed include:

  • Cracking- allows water to penetrate the surface. Freeze/thaw cycles further degrade the asphalt and the underlying substrate, increasing the size of the cracks, allowing more water in over time... Filling cracks will reduce the water infiltration and prolong the life of the surface. Significant cracking generally requires resurfacing with a new layer of asphalt or R+R (Remove and Replace) patching where the damaged section of asphalt is sawcut and removed to provide a clean and structurally sound edge to the patch. The crumblingsection is then replaced with new asphalt.


  • General surface deteriorationincluding rough spots, holesor loose stones-This results in dangerous walking conditions and a completely compromised surface. This amount of deterioration generally cannot be fixed through crack filling or sealcoating and typically requires a structural asphaltrepair, such as a sawcut R+R patch as outlined above.

  • Oil/Gas/Chemical erosion or staining- If left untreated these types of stains can destroy the chemical binders within your asphalt and cause the surface to fail. Our sealcoating process includes a step to treat and encapsulatethese stainsto reduce their destructive power. Thetop coat of sealer also protects the asphalt against future drips or spills.
  • Low spots or water retention- Poor grading or surface drainage leads to puddling, inconvenience for your family or customers and contributes to further asphalt degradation. This type of problem requires a structural asphalt repair to improve the grade and promote better drainage.

  • "Rutting", dips or "dents" where vehicles are parked- This is sometimes caused by too little base under the asphalt layer or too thin a layer of asphalt. The weight of a heavy vehicle or concentrated force of a trailer hitch or motorcycle kickstand on the surface can compact it and leave ruts or marks. These cansometimes be repaired withasphalt resurfacing, butoften require a reconstruction of the stone substrate under the asphalt.
  • Unappealing, roughgray surface- As the oils and chemical binders in asphalt arelost over time, their ability to bind the stone aggregate is diminished. Sealcoating replaces the protective "skin" and keeps the surface strong and visually appealing.

  • Gaps between the asphalt and adjoining concrete surfaces- As with cracking within the body of the surface, gaps between your asphalt driveway or parking lot and adjacent concrete curbs orsidewalkscan allow water to penetrate. This canultimately lead todamage to the base under your asphaltand to failure or the surface. These gaps need to be filled and sealed to prevent further water penetration.
  • "Heaving" due to freeze/thaw cycles, tree root growthor base settling- thiscan bethe result of insufficient base under the asphalt layer and/or natural processes such as tree root growth. In either case, the resulting dips and bulges are unsafe and need to be repaired.

B&B's quality asphalt installation and maintenance processes will provide your surface with the protection it needs to resist these problems and last significantly longer. Protect your investment, beautify your property and prolong the life of your asphalt with B&B Asphalt Sealcoating, Inc.

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