Why Cleaning Is An Important Part Of Asphalt Maintenance

Asphalt pavement is one of the most widely used surfaces for roads and parking lots. Over time, dirt, dust, oil, and other pollutants can build up on the surface and cause it to lose its sheen and color. In addition, the accumulation of pollutants can lead to a decrease in the pavement’s lifespan by causing it to become brittle and more prone to cracking. Cleaning asphalt pavement is an important part of maintaining its appearance and extending its lifespan.

And if you’re interested to know more, we advise you to continue reading as we’re going to talk about why cleaning is an important part of asphalt maintenance in today’s post.


Why Regular Cleaning Is A Must?

Pavement maintenance is an important aspect of construction. Studies show that clean pavements last much longer than dirty ones. Cleaning the pavement removes particles, microorganisms, oils and salts accumulated by rain water flow or other sources.

The following are some reasons why asphalt pavement should be cleaned regularly:

– Cleaning helps maintain appearance and extend lifespan, preventing corrosion fasteners or reduced joint tenacity.

– Pavements start to appear dirty after a period of time due to accumulation of dirt, dusts and other pollutants on their surface. As these irregularly distributed contaminants remain over a long span of time they will cause the finish quality to fade progressively with increasing severity resulting in thick layers that eventually cover it completely if not removed by regular cleaning.

– Asphalt pavement should be cleaned before it reaches such a terrible state that the only option left is to strip and repave.

– Cleaning functions as a preventive measure against water penetration, corrosion and other damage which might eventually require expensive repairs.

– It also helps reduce winter ice formation on pavements which can lead to accidents.

– It helps in the removal of weeds which can later on cause root damage to pavement joints and base.

– Regular cleaning also helps remove organic material, trash and other foreign objects from roadways.


The Most Common Way Of Cleaning Asphalt Surfaces

There are different methods of cleaning asphalt pavement, but the most common is to use a pressure washer. You can also use a power sweeper, which will move the debris around and suck it up into a truck. Another option is to use a street sweeper, which will collect the debris and push it into a truck. It is up to you to determine which will work best for your surface. Pressure washers are often used for parking lots and roads, while sweeper trucks are used mostly for sidewalks.

First, you should determine which areas need to be cleaned. This depends on traffic flow and foot traffic so that the areas get dirty quickly, but aren’t cleaned too frequently. The frequency of cleaning also depends on how long each area takes to clean. If the area is easily accessible, it will be cleaned more often than one that can’t be reached without driving on it with a truck.

Since parking lots are usually flat, using pressure washers might not be an issue, but keep in mind that you still need to choose the correct nozzle and water pressure for the job. For roads and sidewalks, it is better to use a sweeper truck to remove the dirt.

Aside from that, here are the other types of cleaners used for asphalt cleaning:

  1. Commercial Asphalt cleaners: they remove dirt and other low adhesion contaminants by emulsifying them and flushing them off with water.
  2. Asphalt degreasers: they use a chemical reaction to dissolve and remove oil and grease from pavements.
  3. Solvent cleaners: they are also used for the removal of oils, grease and other hydrocarbon contaminants however, unlike asphalt degreasers they do not corrode concrete and they can be used at high concentration.
  4. Hot water: is a pressure washer that allows the user to use hot water, which prevents damage to pavement surface by lowering permittivity or resistance of pavements.
  5. Detergents: they are surfactants, degreasers and solvents, which are used to remove contaminants from concrete, masonry and other non-pavement surfaces.

As you start with your asphalt maintenance cleaning task, you should know how different contaminants affect pavements before using a particular cleaner thus help them select the best possible product.

So it is important to know that not all types of contaminants affect pavements equally and therefore the cleaning process should be adjusted accordingly. It is necessary to understand and take into consideration factors such as vehicle or foot traffic in those areas which receive those, level of dirt accumulation, oil and rubber particle contamination, paraffin wax contamination, metal contamination, salt contamination, synthetic debris (plastic, glass pieces etc.), microorganisms’ impact on pavements, and permeability of soils beneath pavement structures.


Other Things To Remember

To ensure that asphalt pavement is cleaned properly please note that there are three parts of the road that need attention:

  1. Traffic lanes – These are usually clean because they receive traffic.
  2. Curbs – They often accumulate dirt and should be cleaned with a broom.
  3. Joints – These need to be cleaned with hot water or steam because they are the most difficult to clean properly. Washing too often can lead to joint failure, even in new pavements.

Finally, you should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using chemicals for cleaning purposes. You can also contact A-Rock Asphalt in Utah today if you need professional help in maintaining your asphalt road.

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