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What is Asphalt Bleeding, and How is It Corrected?

by | Mar 31, 2020

Unlike potholes or asphalt cracking, bleeding is a less well known and less reported condition of distressed asphalt pavement. However, bleeding can still present a serious hazard in many circumstances, and should be corrected when noticed.

What is Asphalt Bleeding?

Asphalt bleeding, also called flushing, looks like a thin film of shiny, reflective liquid or oil on the asphalt surface, usually appearing during hot weather. It may look like the asphalt is wet or like someone spilled motor oil on it, but in actuality the liquid is made of asphalt binding agents that have ‘bled’ to the surface of the pavement.

This bleeding can reduce vehicle traction and impact driver visibility on the road (as it is extremely reflective at night) and it should be removed if it occurs.

What Causes it?

As asphalt is compacted due to traffic activity, or heated due to sunlight and hot conditions, it can cause the oil-based binder to liquefy and run through the tiny pockets or voids in the pavement, before working its way out to the top in oil form.

Once the binding agent gets to the top it won’t reabsorb, causing the binding agents to build up over time.

Excessive bleeding may also indicate a poor asphalt mix or manufacturing / installation problems

Can Asphalt Bleeding Be Fixed?

If an area of pavement is prone to bleeding there isn’t a way to easily correct the underlying issue—however the bleeding will usually slow over time.

In the short-term, bleeding can be improved by laying down sand to blot up and absorb the excess binding agents. Or, for more serious examples, the pavement can be graded or planed to remove the top layer of original asphalt before the old surface is resurfaced and smoothed.

Reliable Asphalt Service in Holland, MI

If your pavement is distressed, it’s important to choose a service provider with the proper experience, equipment, and reputation for the job. Stripe A Lot provides high quality, attractive, and compressive paving services in West Michigan with free, no-obligation estimates.

Contact our team to schedule your appointment today!

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