The pavement you drive on and walk across has a life cycle, similar to that of many other everyday products. One day, the pavement is bright and bold, freshly laid on the ground; the next day, it’s a patched and rough mess — or so it seems. There are many miles and steps between the beginning and end of asphalt pavement, but working with a high-quality Florida paving contractor, such as PaveMax, means there’s more time between the beginning and end of your pavement’s life cycle.
Five Stages Of Asphalt Pavement
PaveMax evaluates the current asphalt and provides the best options for maintenance and repair for your needs.
Stage 1: New Pavement
When the pavement is new, pedestrians and vehicles enjoy a quiet and smooth surface while the structure is at peak durability. New construction generally lasts up to year 5 and needs little to no maintenance, aside from a new sealcoat around year 3 or year 4.
Stage 2: Initial Preventive Maintenance
Stage 2 is considered the shortest portion of the average asphalt lifecycle, spanning two years from year 5 to year 7. If a Florida paving company hasn’t already replaced the initial sealcoat, a second coat should be applied now. If the surface has begun to crack, a sealant applied during asphalt crack repair can help prevent further degradation.
Stage 3: Minor Repairs
By the end of stage 3, the pavement is generally considered midway through the lifecycle. During year 7 through year 15, minimal asphalt patching repairs are normal for fixing potholes and other wear and tear issues. PaveMax also routinely applies a second, or possibly third sealcoat, depending on the location, while addressing cracking concerns during stage 3.
Stage 4: Major Repairs
When asphalt pavement reaches the fourth stage, major repairs are typically needed sooner rather than later. Maintenance becomes more extensive and focuses on preserving the existing surface in years 15 through 25. Asphalt paving overlays are common during this stage and are frequently used to extend the functionality before an eventual complete replacement or reconstruction of the surface is necessary.
Stage 5: Complete Reconstruction
The fifth and final stage usually occurs 25 years to 35 years after the initial installation. If the surface has reached complete disrepair, removal and full replacement is necessary and should be performed by a professional Florida paving contractor, such as PaveMax. Before reconstruction begins, our team designs a newly paved surface that will meet your needs for decades to come. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and increase the life cycle of your asphalt surface.
What Affects The Pavement Life Cycle?
Quality of Initial Construction
Like all structures, how well — and long — asphalt pavement is able to fulfill its purpose depends largely on the quality of initial construction. Construction begins with an appropriate design, accounting for the expected surface load over the lifespan. The design should include sufficient base support and asphalt depth or the entire structure is at risk of early failure.
Upkeep & Maintenance
The better maintained a surface is, the longer its functional life will be. Applying an initial asphalt sealcoat and reapplying the protective layer as necessary is the first step in proper maintenance. Then, being proactive about pavement issues, such as filling cracks as they appear and reinforcing fatigued spots in the pavement. If the subgrade remains intact but the surface layers begin to unravel or alligator scales show, an asphalt paving overlay is a common maintenance repair that will extend the functional life of the pavement.
Pavement and traffic go hand-in-hand in many situations. The amount of traffic an asphalt surface handles directly affects lifespan, but too little traffic volume can also cause issues. Too little traffic exposes the asphalt to more consistent weather exposure, which causes the asphalt to become brittle and the binding agents to oxidize.
Weather & Environment
Mother Nature and the surrounding environment greatly affect the pavement life cycle, almost equal to traffic loads. Florida’s subtropical climate can cause issues for even the most well-constructed asphalt surface. The subgrade needs additional reinforcement during construction to counter humid and wet conditions that reduce the load-bearing capacity of the surface. But, even with these reinforcements, moisture can slowly seep into the subgrade.