What causes asphalt to deteriorate?

Firm News,Slip-And-Fall Accidents On Thursday, September 26, 2019

The parking lot of your local shopping center in Connecticut can be hazardous to you once you exit your vehicle. Parking lots are common sites of slip-and-fall accidents. Sometimes the cause is pavement that becomes wet and slippery due to weather conditions. At other times, the asphalt deteriorates and causes a hazardous condition. 

According to the Asphalt Institute, a number of different factors can damage asphalt, causing it to deteriorate. The effect can be cumulative. In other words, a pothole, which is a form of asphalt disintegration, can form after the pavement cracks and lets water in. A few examples of these factors include the following. 

1. Disintegration

When the pavement breaks up into small pieces, and when these pieces get lost with the movement of traffic or the passage of time, this is disintegration. A pothole is a common type of disintegration in which a bowl-shaped hole forms in the pavement. Another type of distress may cause the initial deterioration, and then problems with the asphalt itself, including subgrade weakness or poor mixtures, can make the problem worse. Raveling is another type of disintegration that occurs in the presence of traffic when the aggregate particles wear away. 

2. Cracking

Asphalt can crack due to a number of factors, and the pattern formed can indicate the cause. Cracks at the edge of the pavement indicate a lack of support. Large, rectangular block cracks result from temperature changes that cause the asphalt to shrink. Fatigue cracking can relate to a combination of factors, including overloading or insufficient thickness of the pavement, and form a pattern of interconnected cracks that resemble the skin of an alligator. 

3. Distortion 

Distortion occurs due to asphalt insufficiency or weakness. It can result in depressions, ruts or upheavals. A distortion such as these can sometimes lead to a pothole or other form of disintegration. 

The information in this article is not intended as legal advice but provided for educational purposes only.

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