Today’s weather has become very unpredictable and also very destructive. Sadly there’s nothing that we can do to control it. However, you can prepare adequately though. The weather changes that we see today affect different aspects of our lives.
Think of the extreme heat and cold seasons, as well as the flooding that we experience so often today. Most of these are caused by weather changes and can cause significant damage to our properties. However, these also come with some effects that we can’t see until it’s too late. If you don’t know, weather changes do affect asphalt—but, these effects are gradual, and you will notice them when the damage they’ve caused is significant.
However, it’s important to understand that these effects do vary depending on the weather. Therefore, you must understand how weather changes affect asphalt, and what you can do to protect your asphalt paved surfaces from these weather changes.
- What Can You Do to Protect Your Asphalt Paved Surface from Winter?
- Repair any Existing Cracks
- Resurface The Area
- Avoid Overusing The Area
- Extreme Heat
- Preventing Your Asphalt Paved Surface From Extreme Heat
- Regular Seal Coating
- Install Asphalt With a High SRI
- Repair Cracks The Moment They Appear
The winter months have frigid and unpredictable weather, which can take a toll on your asphalt paved surfaces. But, it’s important to understand that the cold weather cannot affect asphalt when you take the necessary preventive maintenances.
Winter comes with frequent freeze and thaw cycles, which start to cause damage on asphalt surfaces. These two cycles have one thing in common—water, which is a major problem to asphalt paved surfaces. As the asphalt expands and contracts, water can seep in the sub-base, thus compromising the structural integrity of the asphalt paved surface. This, in turn, weakens the asphalt, thus reducing the lifespan of the surface.
What Can You Do to Protect Your Asphalt Paved Surface from Winter?
If you have an asphalt paved surface, you should understand that repairs and maintenances before the winter are instrumental in maintaining the structural integrity of the asphalt paved surface. Moreover, preparing your asphalt paved surfaces for the coming winter season is essential as it will assist you to avoid costly repairs.
The following are a few tips to protect asphalt from winter-related damages.
Repair any Existing Cracks
It’s important to repair the existing cracks on the asphalt surface if you want to prevent any additional damage to the surface. Always make sure that you seal these cracks, regardless of their size. To repair these cracks, first clean and remove any debris in the cracks, and then use a crack filler. Allow the filler to dry before walking or driving in that area again.
Resurface The Area
Resurfacing your asphalt paved surface can be costly. However, this is a good way of ensuring the durability of your asphalt paved surfaces. The resurfacing process involves removing the top player of the asphalt and then laying a new layer on the top.
However, if the cracks on the surface are a bit deeper than the top layer, which is around 1 to 2 inches, you should fill them first before resurfacing the entire surface. At the end of the day, this is a costly, but effective way of protecting your asphalt paved surface from winter. Moreover, it gives the entire area a brand new look.
Avoid Overusing The Area
Asphalt can retain water during winter seasons—and this water can damage the surface if you don’t take care. However, you can easily prevent significant damage by keeping the area clear. Also, keeping the area dry can preventing water from freezing and expanding because of the changing temperatures.
The extra pressure and weight can weaken the entire area and deepen the already existing cracks. Well, this can be a challenge, particularly if you use this area frequently. That’s the reason why ABC Paving & Sealcoating contractors recommend the first two alternatives.
As the sun rays hit your asphalt paved surface, the sleek and black asphalt surface absorbs most of the heat. Even though most of today’s asphalt surfaces are designed to reflect heat, high temperatures can still cause the surface to crack. This leads to several problems, which include:
Raveling leads to a mixture of debris, like soil and asphalt aggregate in the affected area. There are several causes of raveling, which include insufficient compaction, as well as the separation of the binder and aggregate. The type of repair needed for raveling depends on the size of the damaged surface, as well as the degree of damage.
Although asphalt surfaces are designed to withstand extreme temperatures, extremely hot temperatures can make the surface soft, to the extent that small asphalt flakes start chipping out of the surface. Tracking can also happen when there is a delay in the curing of a newly paved surface because of hot and humid conditions.
Continued heat exposure on asphalt paved surfaces leads to cracking. Even though cracking is more common in older asphalt paved surfaces, it can also happen in new surfaces, especially if it’s not well maintained or if it was poorly installed. Cracking is more prevalent on asphalt surfaces with a regular flow of traffic like roads and parking lots.
Oxidation makes the entire asphalt structure weak, thus making it to become brittle. Mostly, it happens as a result of UV radiation, which leads to a chemical reaction that causes heavier oils to mix with light oils. This, in turn, reduces the binding oils in the paved surface, and this increases the possibilities of raveling or cracking.
Preventing Your Asphalt Paved Surface From Extreme Heat
Regular Seal Coating
Sealcoating your asphalt paved surface prevents heat damage—but you have to reapply the sealant on schedule. The best time to seal coat an asphalt surface is during hot days, as the heat assists the sealant to bond with the existing asphalt surface. Moreover, the heat reduces the viscosity of the sealant, thus allowing it to flow into deep crevices and cracks. This protects the entire surface from both heat and water damage.
Install Asphalt With a High SRI
The SRI (solar reflectance index) of any surface determined how well the surface can reflect solar heat. Typically, fresh asphalt has low SRI, thanks to the dark material coloration. However, the growth in technology has led to the development of asphalt with high SRI. It’s important to make sure that your contractor uses such asphalt when paving your surfaces.
Repair Cracks The Moment They Appear
If the asphalt on your driveway or parking lot has evident signs of cracks, it’s never too late to repair it. It’s always a good idea to repair the surface when it shows signs of damage, as this prolongs its lifespan. Moreover, it can save you cost and time for a complete replacement.