Understanding Distortion Distress In Your Asphalt Driveway

If you have an asphalt driveway, you know you need to perform regular maintenance on it to keep it in good condition. Cracks are obvious problems you know need to be cared for in order to avoid more damage, but what about distortion problems? While it might not seem like a big deal to have ripples or grooves in the driveway, they could indicate trouble and should be evaluated by a professional. He or she can let you know what you need to have done if any repairs are necessary. Here is a bit of information to help you understand asphalt distortion distress.

What Is It?

Distortion distress is a change in the surface of the asphalt. It is generally noticed after the driveway is fairly established and is the result of poor compaction or a weakness of the soil base layer under the asphalt. As you drive on it, the asphalt sinks, shifts, or ripples because the weight of the vehicle forces movement in the base.

Types Of Distortion Distress

If the soil base was not compacted enough, ruts will form where you normally drive your vehicles on the asphalt. As you pull into the driveway, the weight of the vehicle will push down on the asphalt and soil base, compacting it. These ruts can damage the protective sealant on the asphalt and allow water to seep in, eventually deteriorating or crumbling it.

Ripples are usually seen on curves in the driveway. They are caused by either too much asphalt or a weak soil base that moves as the wheels turn to go around the curve. The main problem with ripples is that they break through the sealant, leaving the asphalt exposed and vulnerable to weathering. In addition, the ripples are often coarse or sharp and may damage the vehicle's tires or be a safety hazard to anyone walking on the driveway.

Repairing Distortion Distress

Unfortunately, distortion distress is going to require some type of additional work on the soil base. This means that the section of your driveway affected is going to have to be removed. The asphalt repair company will then either further compact the soil, add additional aggregate to the base, or possibly both before replacing the asphalt.

If you had any type of work guarantee to the driveway, you may be able to have distortion distress repaired at no cost because it really is a problem due to the way the work was done. However, distortion can also happen years after the driveway was originally laid and be due to weather changes or excessive precipitation in the area. Contact a professional to determine the cause of the problem and how to fix it. Asphalt repair contractors like Lakeridge Paving Company may be able to help.