Not only is asphalt pavement durable, but it’s also an affordable paving that will last you years. That is if you maintain it properly.
With summer right around the corner, you may be wondering what effect the hot temperatures may have on your new asphalt pavement.
While asphalt is tough, it is susceptible to seasonal wear if not taken care of. Here’s how the summer heat affects your asphalt and what you can do to protect it.
If you’ve taken any physics class, you’re aware that when a material is heated, its kinetic energy increases. This means the molecules and atoms move around more rapidly and take up greater space.
This causes expansion.
With that expansion can come cracking or curling of edges. Sometimes potholes can appear as a result of this heat-induced expansion.
The best method for repairing asphalt paving that has experienced heat expansion is to wait for autumn. Once the temperatures cool off, you can have cracks or potholes fixed.
The trick is to get these repairs completed before snow or ice comes.
When asphalt expands due to heat, another problem can sometimes arise: water infiltration. When heat expansion leaves cracks or holes in the pavement, rain water or other liquid runoff enters those cracks and can remain.
Over time, this water weakens the asphalt.
Asphalt cleaning can protect your pavement from infiltration as well as repairing cracks as soon as temperatures cool down. Sealcoating your residential or commercial asphalt can also protect your pavement from sun and heat damage.
Water infiltration can be especially damaging if the water remains until freezing temperatures cause it to expand in the winter. Expansion due to freezing is also damaging to your asphalt.
If you have a commercial asphalt surface, clear line striping is vital. Unfortunately, summer heat causes the wearing and fading of those lines.
The sun’s UV rays work on asphalt lines the same way they do on upholstery, paint, or photographs. After some time, they break down chemical bonds in the paint, causing it to fade. Eventually, they will need to be re-touched to prevent driving hazards.
Weakening Asphalt Pavement
Asphalt pavement is made up of many different materials and components. Because of this, it has its own binding agents.
As the sun heats up the binding agents, they dry out, weakening the pavement as a whole. Just like with expansion, this can lead to uneven surfaces, rippling, cracks, or water infiltration.
Proper Asphalt Maintenance
Despite the damage summer heat can do to your asphalt, there’s good news. With the right asphalt maintenance and protective care, your asphalt pavement can last for years to come.
The key is finding the right contractors to install your pavement and help you repair it. Consider seal coating and other methods of protecting your asphalt from premature aging.
Our team of experienced contractors are here to help with all your paving needs. Contact us today with any questions about asphalt pavement installation and maintenance.