Weather and traffic continually degrade asphalt over roadways until the material begins to fail. As the condition of the asphalt worsens, vehicles driving overhead may suffer damage from coming into contact with sharp edges on cracks or holes. Furthermore, sudden jolts from upheavals or potholes may pop suspension components out of place by damaging hardware holding the vehicle together. Even more shockingly, supportive materials under the asphalt can wash away and cause a sudden collapse that swallows up vehicles whole. Read on to learn more asphalt conditions that could damage your vehicle.
Heavy vehicles driving over new roadways cause pressure cracks to develop in the surface. The same damage occurs as the asphalt ages, especially in areas where it heats up and cools down rapidly due to constant day to night weather fluctuations. The cracks reveal sharp edges of asphalt that poke up from the flat surface of the concrete.
Vehicles with properly inflated tires in good condition do not usually suffer damage from the sharp edges. Unfortunately, tires that are old, brittle or overinflated could suddenly blow out. When this happens, the vehicle could careen to one side, causing an accident, or skid to a stop on the bare rims.
Asphalt materials can erupt upward, commonly called upheaval, creating a sharp-edged slope in the middle of the roadway. Upheaval often occurs in asphalted areas with frequent freezing temperatures or heavy roadside vegetation.
Expansion and contraction of asphalt materials happens rapidly as temperatures drop into freezing range and jump back up again during the day. In addition, large tree roots under the roadway can lift up the surface in the same way. Upheaval is a serious problem due to the risk of increased wear on vehicle's tires and suspension components. Furthermore, the sloped areas make it difficult to steer and stop as expected due to severe road surface deviations.
Even warm, wet weather can cause issues with solid asphalt roadways. As rainy weather takes hold and starts to wash away the soil beneath the road, small potholes develop across the asphalt surface. The potholes steadily grow bigger as vehicles drive over the surface and break away chunks from the edges.
Suddenly hitting deep potholes often pops tires and bends rims. The harsh impact can also pop ball joints out of place or shear off hardware holding the tie rod ends, control arms and steering rack. Drivers can put in a claim with the city for repairs to their pothole damaged vehicle, but it's often a difficult case to prove.
If soil beneath the road completely washes away during heavy rainfall or floods, large sinkholes could appear and swallow up everything sitting on the surface. Sinkholes can affect a small area or an entire street, depending on the extent of damage beneath the roadway. Since the road conceals the soil erosion, emergency workers may need to cordon off the entire area until asphalt professionals can identify risk and repair the damage. Vehicles that fall into sinkholes are often completely totaled from damage to their body, frame and safety components.
Reporting Dangerous Conditions
Most cities will fix severe asphalt damage on roadways after receiving notification of the problem and its location. Drivers must fill out a full report with the city to start the inspection and repair process. Many cities are backlogged with requests, so it can take a bit of time for crews to make it to that particular location.
Cities do not perform repairs on parking lots or private driveways, however. If drivers notice damage in parking lots, it is necessary to alert the owners of that complex, so they can initiate the repairs. Damage in private residential driveways can be repaired by contacting an asphalt contractor in the local area. For more information, visit a website like http://www.lakeridgepaving.com.
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