Defects And Failures Every Pavement Owner Should Know About

Pavement failure occurs when asphalt no longer holds its original shape and develops material stress, which causes the surface to deteriorate. The pavement failure damages include cracking, potholes, depressions, rutting, shoving, upheavals, and raveling.

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Although asphalt is the most recommended material, considering the surface’s longevity and sustainability, it also requires regular maintenance and repair. This includes asphalt repair strategies and infrared repair techniques.

Not to forget, the pavement can go under distress long before the expected time, from improper asphalt installation, drainage glitches to heavy traffic load, and irregular asphalt maintenance schedule. Therefore, it is essential to quickly classify the damage and cause of failure to save yourself from expensive repairs.

In this blog, we will discuss the defects and failures of the pavement.

Surface Issues

1. Potholes

Potholes damage the structure that supports your pavement if not repaired in the initial stages. It forms holes in the surface due to adverse weather conditions, constant wear, and poor installation.

Moreover, you would probably need to resurface the whole of the pavement if the patching techniques do not repair damage.

2. Patch Failures

At times, patches are designed to fix the surface damage that may be caused due to various factors. Unfortunately, improper asphalt patching and installation and harsh weather conditions can compromise the patch’s life and accelerate its degradation.

This causes patch failures on the surface, which affects the condition and performance of the entire pavement.


1. Longitudinal Cracking

Long parallel cracks meeting on the centerline of the asphalt pavement is considered longitudinal cracking. Initially, cracks will only appear in a few areas. However, they will transform into multiple parallel cracks that point towards the pavement’s deterioration.

The causes of these cracks may be a high traffic load, joint failures, or frost heaving. Traverse cracking is close to longitudinal cracking, but it is distinct since it forms at the correct angles.

2. Block Cracking

Block cracking happens when longitudinal or transverse cracking crosses each other. Wide irregular pieces form on the surface, weakening the asphalt layers and preventing them from providing maximum performance results.

In certain situations, these holes may be patched, but they would have to be repaved from scratch to depict optimal performance.

Also, surface distortions such as rutting, shoving, depression, swell, and corrugations are common asphalt pavement damages that you should know. All in all, to preserve your pavement’s performance and condition, ensure performing regular maintenance.

If you want to study more about these pavement defects and failures, reach out to Doctor Asphalt LLC. We provide professional asphalt paving and maintenance services to all residing in Houston, TX, at economical rates. Get a free quote today!

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