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Identifying and Correcting Pavement Pumping

by | Apr 20, 2020

Proper drainage is critically important for creating high-quality, durable, lasting asphalt paving. But in some situations, there can be just too much water to deal with.

What is Asphalt Pumping?

Pumping occurs when there is so much water in the underlying layers, below the asphalt paving surface, that water is physically pumped up to the surface through small cracks and pores under heavy moving loads.

This is a big problem. Water infiltration of any kind is the biggest danger to asphalt pavement. Pumping is a particularly severe case, causing premature asphalt failure in a variety of ways. If water is being pumped out from below the asphalt, it’s also moving around under and within the pavement at the same time, which can lead to stripping or the undermining of base, subbase, and subgrade materials.

Severe pumping can also reduce road traction unexpectedly, even in dry conditions.

What Causes Asphalt Pumping?

There are a few possible causes. Firstly, the local water table may simply be too high, causing groundwater to permeate the asphalt sublayers. It’s also possible that the asphalt layer is too porous and water permeable, whether because of a bad mix, insufficient compaction, pavement damage, and/or poor drainage design.

How do you Resolve Asphalt Pumping?

First, a professional will need to investigate and determine the particular factors behind the situation so they can be corrected. Pumping generally requires relatively extensive repair work.

In general the affected area is replaced with a full depth patch, removing the affected pavement and putting new material down in its place. If the problem includes poor drainage or a high water table the drainage system below the patch can also be improved before the patch is installed.

Qualified West Michigan Asphalt Service

Stripe A Lot is a family-owned West Michigan company providing exceptional asphalt paving and repair services, including patching, sealcoating, crack repairs, asphalt striping, new asphalt paving, and more.

Contact us today for a free, no obligation asphalt repair quote!

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