From the day it is laid asphalt is in the process of decaying. Asphalt is a mix of aggregate (basically sand) and a black, sticky petroleum based substance that enables it to act as the glue that holds the aggregate together and forms what is essentially a petrol based concrete. The very same chemical reaction that makes asphalt go from a hot liquid to a hard solid so quickly will carry on and eventually lead to that asphalt becoming harder, then more brittle, and eventually sufficiently fragile that it will crack under the influence of heat or cold. Those cracks are worked on by things like the wind or any further stress of usage and will only get wider and longer until the wind and rain can get in and start to create potholes under the asphalt skin. It's downhill from there. Until you call us at Birmingham Concrete Removal to set it right.
There are a number of ways to know that your asphalt has reached the end of its days. If you wait until you have huge potholes emerging then you're also leaving yourself open to complaints and even litigation from anyone using your driveway, access road, or parking space. There are a number of signs that your asphalt is failing before you get to that point. 'Alligator skin' is where a pattern forms on the asphalt, like a gator's skin, that is actually a series of interconnected cracks and points to a movement of the sub strata underneath the asphalt itself. It may not have broken out into large cracks yet, but it will. 'Bird baths' are when there are visible pools of water that form and stay on the surface of the asphalt. They usually suggest frost damage or localized subsidence under the asphalt layer and since water is the worst enemy of asphalt they aren't going to help any time soon. Water seepage out from any part of an asphalt surface on a dry day is another sure fire indicator that there are drainage problems that you can't deal with by sealing them up – that's just a band aid on the real problem.
When To Remove
The general rule is that by the time a quarter of the asphalt area is showing signs that it needs to be repaired then it's too late to repair. Instead you need to save your money by completely replacing the asphalt as running repairs from this point on are simply more expensive than removal and replacement. Asphalt removal is something we know how to do.
Can asphalt be recycled? It sure can. In fact asphalt is the country's most recycled material with over 70 million tons of old asphalt being turned into new asphalt every year in the US. Asphalt is 100 per cent recyclable as long as you have the right tools to mill it down and melt it again and second time around asphalt can often be better than new. Talk to Birmingham Concrete Removal about how.
If your asphalt has to go somewhere it should be remembered that it is as heavy and as bulky as standard concrete and even less likely to be accepted by local land fill. Which is why you need the professionals at Birmingham Concrete Removal since we have both the muscle and the horsepower needed to dig it up and haul it away, plus the place to put it. Give us a call today.