7 Most Common Asphalt Paving Problems and How to Prevent Them

7 Most Common Asphalt Paving Problems and How to Prevent Them

Bill Jones

In the asphalt jungle, I’m Bill Jones, the president and CEO of SS Paving. I’ve been laying down quality pavement for over 35 years now, and I take a real pride in seeing our work transform properties and neighborhoods. What started out as a small business with a big dream has grown into a company I trust to deliver exceptional quality and service, every single time. Beyond asphalt, I’m a passionate writer and enjoy sharing my knowledge and experience through this blog. I believe that an informed homeowner is a happy homeowner, and I hope the articles here empower you to make the best decisions for your paving projects. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out – after all, that’s what good neighbors do!
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Did you know asphalt is one of the most recycled products in America? One of the main reasons for this is, that asphalt is the most durable, versatile, and resilient paving material which is also incredibly low maintenance and affordable as compared to other paving materials.

That’s why when it comes to constructing parking lots and other commercial and industrial properties, people prefer asphalt.

Despite all the advantages of asphalt paving, it is not completely invincible and requires periodic care and maintenance, beginning with proper construction and application. Neglecting maintenance and repairs can lead to significant wear and tear over time. Asphalt is prone to lots of issues that certainly affect its performance and lifespan.

Today, we are going to discuss the top seven asphalt paving problems and reveal some essential tips to prevent them.

  1. Potholes:

The #1 issue we need to highlight is potholes.

Yes. Why? The reason is that potholes are one of the most recognizable and prevalent issues in asphalt paving. Potholes are usually caused by a lot of factors which mainly include water infiltration, freeze-thaw cycles, and heavy traffic. 

Therefore, to prevent this issue, we suggest proper drainage. Make sure that the grading and slope of the asphalt surface allow water to flow away from the pavement. Not only that but also ensuring regular inspection and immediate repair of any multiple cracks and depressions is important as it helps prevent them from developing into potholes. 

  1. Cracking:

How can we forget cracking which causes great havoc if left untreated?

That’s true. Cracking is another big problem in asphalt paving which usually occurs in multiple forms such as fatigue cracks, thermal cracks, and reflective cracks. Now if you want to prevent cracking issues, it is important to provide adequate structural support. 

This means making sure that the base layers are compacted well before paving and using the right thickness of asphalt for the expected traffic. Sealing cracks and regular maintenance, like applying a seal coat, are also important to prevent more cracks from forming.

  1. Rutting:

Have you ever heard about rutting?

If not yet, let us introduce you to this significant issue.

Rutting mainly refers to the development of wheel path depressions or grooves in the asphalt surface. This problem is mainly caused by heavy traffic, especially from large vehicles or improper compaction during construction. 

To prevent rutting, it is important to correct the asphalt mix design for the anticipated traffic load. Experts suggest proper compaction during installation as it ensures that the asphalt has enough density and thickness. Moreover, regular maintenance such as patching and resurfacing also prevents further rutting. 

  1. Bleeding:

Now let’s talk about bleeding, which is also known as flushing.

This problem always occurs when excess bitumen rises to the surface of the asphalt, creating a shiny, sticky appearance. The problem is mainly caused by excessive asphalt binder content or poor aggregate gradation. 

How can you prevent this issue from happening?

It is simple. You need to use the correct asphalt mix design. Why? It ensures that the binder content is suitable for the local climate and traffic conditions. Proper compaction and regular maintenance such as sweeping to remove excess asphalt binder, can also help mitigate the bleeding issue.

  1. Fading and Oxidation:

It’s time to talk about fading and oxidation now which also creates problems.

Fading and oxidation usually refer to the discoloration and deterioration of the asphalt surface which occurs after exposure to sunlight, oxygen, and other environmental factors. 

To prevent fading and oxidation, we suggest regular seal coating which forms a special protective layer over the asphalt, so it can protect it from the damaging effects of UV rays and other harmful environmental elements. 

Regular cleaning, such as sweeping to remove debris is also recommended to maintain the appearance and longevity of the asphalt surface. 

  1. Joint Reflection Cracking:

Joint reflection cracking happens because of changes in temperature and moisture in the layers beneath the asphalt. You can understand it this way.

When the temperature changes suddenly, the concrete slab underneath shifts its position and causes cracks to appear on the asphalt surface. Now these cracks occur above the pavement joints and spread quickly. Their appearance resembles block cracks as they create square or rectangular patterns.

If you want to fix the issue of small joint reflection cracks near the surface, using a patch or sealer is recommended. If bigger cracks have spread across the pavement, you may need to repave the area by using more durable and stronger materials. Therefore, hiring professional asphalt crack repair services is best for fixing large-scale repairs as the experts can manage these issues in no time within your scheduled budget.

  1. Dips and Depressions:

Another big issue is Dips and depressions in your asphalt pavement.

If this problem occurs, there are many weak spots or a lack of support in different areas. The issue happens because of poor construction, heavy traffic, or simply aging and lack of maintenance.

If you won’t fix the issue, these dips collect water from rain or melted snow, stopping it from draining properly. Dips and depressions are also called bird baths because they are oval-shaped and attract birds that drink from the puddles.

To prevent or fix the problem, it’s important to find out what caused the problem. After that, patch the area if the damage is small or hire a commercial asphalt repair company to repave the area.


Preventing common asphalt paving problems involves proper design, installation, and regular maintenance. To fix the above-mentioned issues, it is important to consult with professionals and let them handle the issues that make your commercial property suffer.

However, you can also take a few steps to avoid these problems which include maintaining good drainage, strong structural support, and using the right asphalt mix. 

The most important thing is, ensuring regular maintenance which includes sealing cracks, patching, and seal coating, as they keep the asphalt in good shape. By proactively addressing these issues, you can have smooth, durable asphalt pavement that lasts through time and heavy use.

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