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How Does Water Intrusion Lead To Pavement Failure?

Key Takeaways:

  1. Poor soil, lack of maintenance, improper installation, and excessive traffic loads are all common causes of premature pavement failure.
  2. To prevent pavement damage due to poor soil, install drains that will help keep the area dry.
  3. Proper pavement maintenance can go a long way in prolonging its life span. Typically, proper upkeep will add between two to three years before it demands repairs or replacements.
  4. Keeping a close watch on finished projects is essential to detect any cracks or changes. By identifying structural fractures early on, you can find the root of the issue and devise an effective remedy.

Do you ever wonder how your car can take such a beating from driving on the same roads year after year? We hardly give it any thought – we trust that our roads and pavements are reliable, strong, and built to last. But what if they weren’t? What if water intrusion impacted their stability in ways that we often overlook and don’t even realize?

When it comes to the way pavements are built and maintained, it’s essential to consider how water intrusion holds the potential to affect performance. Water intrusion into pavement can occur through various mechanisms that lead to multiple issues, many of which directly conflict with current and long-term pavement viability. As such, understanding the effects caused by water intrusion on pavement failure should be fully understood for maintenance strategies to avoid problems before they become an issue.

In this blog post, Purcell’s Paving and Masonry pavement experts will discuss how water intrusion affects roadway performance. We will also cover what methods can be employed to prevent failures due to water damage.

So, if you’re interested in learning more about why water intrusions matter when assessing pavement conditions and discussing necessary repairs or upgrades, keep reading!

What Causes Water Intrusion?

Water intrusion can cause various issues, including cracking, potholes, and even complete pavement failure. Following are some factors that can result in water intrusion in the pavement.

1. Poor Drainage

It is essential to ensure water flows away from the pavement’s surface. If there is poor drainage, water can accumulate on the pavement’s surface, causing it to weaken and eventually fail. It can be prevented by ensuring that drainage systems are in place and functioning properly.

2. Poor Compaction

When pavement is being installed, it must be compacted properly. If the pavement is not compacted properly, it can become porous, allowing water to seep into the surface and cause damage. To prevent this, it is essential to ensure that proper compaction equipment is used and that the pavement is compacted to the correct density.

3. Improper Jointing

Joints are used in the pavement to allow for movement and expansion of the surface. If these joints are not properly sealed, water can seep into the pavement and cause damage. To prevent this, it is vital to ensure that joints are properly sealed with a high-quality sealant.

4. Presence of Cracks

Cracks in the pavement can allow water to seep into the surface and cause damage. To prevent this, you need to ensure that cracks are properly sealed and that regular maintenance is performed to identify and repair any new cracks that may form.

Also Read: Driveway And Parking Lot Repair: Should You Patch, Resurface Or Replace?

5. Presence of Debris

Debris on the pavement, such as leaves and twigs, can block drainage systems and cause water to accumulate on the surface. To prevent this, it is essential to ensure that drainage systems are clear of debris and that regular cleaning is performed to remove any debris that may accumulate on the surface.

6. Use of Improper Materials

If the wrong materials are used in pavement construction, they can become porous, and water seeps into the surface. To prevent this, it is crucial to ensure that the right materials are used and installed according to the manufacturer’s specifications.

How Water Intrusion Affects Pavement?

Water intrusion in the pavement is a serious issue that can cause many problems for both property owners and the general public. When water infiltrates the pavement, it can cause the surface to weaken, crack, and even fail. It can result in costly repairs and even pose a safety hazard to those who use the pavement.

Deterioration of Pavement

When water is allowed to enter the pavement, it can cause the pavement material to break down and become weaker over time. It can lead to pavement failure as the pavement cannot bear any loads placed on it.

Formation of Potholes

Water intrusion into pavement can also cause potholes and other surface irregularities. Potholes are especially dangerous for pedestrians and vehicles, as they can create hazardous driving conditions.

Damage From Freezing/Thawing Cycles

In freezing climates, water that has entered the pavement may freeze and expand, which causes further damage to the pavement material leading to pavement damage. Conversely, thawing cycles in warmer climates can also cause damage due to water intrusion as the pavement weakens.

Subgrade Erosion

When pavement is exposed to repeated cycles of freezing and thawing, the pavement’s subgrade can also become eroded, leading to asphalt pavement failure.

Corrosion of Underlying Layers

Corrosion of underlying pavement layers caused by water infiltration can lead to pavement damage over time.


Preventing Water Intrusion Effects on Pavement

It is possible to prevent pavement failure related to water intrusion. Asphalt pavement can be protected with a combination of seal coating and crack filling. The approach helps protect the pavement from the effects of water infiltration by sealing out moisture. It also helps prevent cracks from forming or expanding and arrests minor damage before it becomes a more severe problem. Regular pavement maintenance, including seal coating, crack filling, pothole repair, and other asphalt services, can significantly prolong the life of the pavement by helping avoid pavement failure due to water intrusion.

Let Purcell’s Paving and Masonry Help You Out!

At Purcell’s Paving and Masonry, we understand pavement failure and how water intrusion can cause pavement deterioration. Our professional team of pavement maintenance experts will help you avoid asphalt damage through regular pavement maintenance, including seal coating, crack filling, pothole repair, and other asphalt services in Somerville, NJ. We also specialize in proper drainage solutions to avoid pavement failure from water intrusion. Contact us today for a free estimate!