Asphalt pavements are known for their durability and smooth finish making it easier to drive on them. Their usage extends from private or commercial parking lots to private roads in customized forms and percentages of materials. The dark sheen finished asphalt pavements provide unmatched by any other forms of pavements, and the customary durability of asphalt and its laid surfaces makes them last a few good years before they start to show cracks or deteriorate in general. Different conditions at different parts of the world will cause asphalt pavements to deteriorate differently at different speeds with different obvious signs and changes in their surfaces. In the United States alone, there are plenty of different weather conditions. Virginia, for example, is a mild temperature region with much humid atmosphere most of the year.

The way asphalt pavements get laid in each different weather conditions has to vary regarding material percentage and laying techniques. Good quality Asphalt Paving Companies Virginia will know the perfect type of materials required in the state to make them last longer and look great in the meantime as well. When a correct asphalt pavement is laid and is treated with proper conditions along with timely maintenance, it can last up to 25 years. Here are some causes of asphalt pavement deterioration and its most obvious signs that you should always look for:

Water or Humidity

Regions of the world where it rains regularly or the atmosphere is much humid most of the year, will also show signs of early asphalt pavement deterioration. Although asphalt is a very dense type of a substance, yet with constant water or humidity exposure, it can lose its properties and wear out at a rapid pace. Virginia being a humid part of the world, will always suffer this problem and Asphalt Paving Companies Virginia will have to take the required care in the matter for their laid surfaces to last longer.

Power of the Sun

Asphalt has to have liquid mixed in, in its materials in order to hold the aggregate together. This is achieved by providing enough liquid during the laying process and constant beat down from the sun dries out most of the liquid in the once flexible liquid asphalt that fails to hold everything together and gives in to running traffic that takes parts of it with it creating cracks and loss of color in the long run.

Exposure to Chemicals or Petroleum

Most hard chemicals and petroleum have this effect on asphalt where they can soften up its surface making it easier for running traffic to take away some chunks from it and produce cracks in it. Petrol stations or parking lots are always under the gun with petroleum exposure and will show cracks and loss of color faster than any other asphalt surfaces.

Errors While Laying Surfaces

There are some correct techniques for laying out an asphalt pavement surface. These must be followed at all times, common mistakes are:

  • Inadequate or improperly compacted base below the asphalt
  • Over or under compaction of asphalt
  • Asphalt not applied at the right temperature
  • Lacking water drainage causing water to stick to the surface

There is no asphalt surface that can claim to be completely free from deterioration. Every laid asphalt surface will subsequently show signs of wear and tear including the following:


The basic thing to understand in cracking is to look for obvious cracks in the surface of your asphalt pavement. There are many types of cracking and many technical terms given to it including alligatoring, edge cracks, slippage (caused by improper compaction), and reflection (older cracks occurring in a new overlay), edge joint, shrinkage and widening. Any cracking usually causes the surface of the pavement to widen up and make potholes where water or other liquids rest for longer periods of time causing the surrounding surface to lose its shape as well. This effect gets multiplied and should be taken care of quickly with a surface coat to avoid displeasure.


This is referred to as the movement or slight shift in the various surfaces involved and is often caused by improper construction of the asphalt pavement, deterioration of the underlying base or existing asphalt and other high load factors being forces on the surfaces for longer periods of time. Distortion and its many types include ruts or channels, shoving, and corrugations, upheaval, and utility cut depressions or grade depressions as well. Distortion is a potentially dangerous scenario as well and can cause the whole top surface to lose its grip on the other lower surfaces.


Disintegration is much similar to the earlier two forms of surface damage and will lead to potholes, revealing of below surfaces or widening of the surface and is often caused by gas and oil spillage or other chemical exposure. Disintegration will cause major level damage to the asphalt pavement and is always best to take care of it as soon as there are visible signs.