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Asphalt Stripping, and What it Means For You

by | Feb 20, 2020

We recently investigated asphalt raveling, a condition where the entire surface of the asphalt comes apart entirely. Raveling is one of the single worst conditions asphalt pavement can present and the only real way to fix it is to replace the pavement.

But raveling has a sibling that is potentially even more frustrating to deal with: asphalt stripping.

What is Asphalt Stripping?

Asphalt stripping is essentially asphalt raveling in reverse. Instead of the surface coming apart and disintegrating, exposing the lower layers, the lower layers of the asphalt fall apart first and damage the upper layers.

In more technical terms, aggregate materials and asphalt binder at the bottom of the asphalt layer begin to separate, causing the asphalt to lose foundational support and crumble upwards. This can cause tremendous issues for the entire pavement layer as the lower portions reflect cracks to the surface or cause entire sections to rapidly fail. Rutting, shoving, raveling, and significant cracking are common symptoms.

What Causes Asphalt Stripping?

In a word: water.

Moisture at the bottom of the asphalt layer can cause certain aggregates to pull away from the oil-based binding agents that hold the asphalt together. While it is possible that poor asphalt mixes may contribute to the issue, water access or poor drainage will be the main cause.

How is Asphalt Stripping Dealt With?

Because stripping happens below the surface, it can be hard to identify it as the main cause. The evidences of asphalt distress that are visible may have any number of causes, so a professional must examine the situation.

Ultimately, a core can be taken to provide physical access to the entire width of the pavement. If stripping is identified, the pavement will need to be replaced with changes to eliminate the moisture infiltration that caused the stripping in the first place.

Professional West Michigan Asphalt Repair

If you’ve noticed damage in your roadway, driveway, or parking lot, Stripe a Lot can help. We’re a full-service asphalt maintenance, repair, and paving company located right here in Holland, MI, with a wide variety of services and free quotes available.

Call 616-772-2559 today to schedule an appointment.

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