How Water and Seasonal Changes Can Affect Asphalt Pavement

How Water and Seasonal Changes Can Affect Asphalt Pavement

April 17, 2019

Asphalt is a great paving material to use on driveways and parking lots because of its durability. However, like most materials that are subject to constant traffic and exposure to the elements, asphalt can degrade over time. Seasonal changes and weather are some of the most common culprits when it comes to asphalt damage.

It’s important to understand how water, sun and other elements can affect your asphalt pavement so you can keep a close eye on it and have your asphalt repaired when it gets weathered. Asphalt resurfacing in Nashville, TN can keep your asphalt in good condition to minimize damage caused by the weather.

The effects of the sun and temperature

Sunshine and heat are two of asphalt’s biggest weaknesses, especially when it gets very hot outside. Long-term exposure to sun and heat can cause your asphalt to crack. Additionally, extremely hot temperatures can actually melt asphalt.

However, the real trouble with asphalt begins when the temperature outside fluctuates between hot and cold. When it’s hot outside, your asphalt pavement can expand. Then, if the temperature drops significantly overnight or into the next day, the pavement will contract, or shrink. This is normal, but if your pavement is constantly expanding and contracting due to temperature shifts, the asphalt may develop cracks and even buckle or curl.

It’s very important to make sure that all cracks are filled before periods of temperature fluctuation (like winter), or the expansion and contraction can make them worse.

How water damages asphalt

Much like temperature fluctuations, water can degrade your asphalt throughout the year. Water isn’t always dangerous to asphalt, but it can be destructive if the asphalt is already cracked. This is because water can seep into the cracks and cause problems with the sub-surface of the asphalt.

All asphalt pavement needs a solid foundation to sit on, or else it cannot withstand pressure from vehicular traffic above. When the sub-layers get degraded by water, and pressure is applied on top of the asphalt, a pothole can form. And once there is one pothole, that one can expand and even more can form.

Water is also particularly damaging during winter. If you have existing cracks in the asphalt, water will seep down into the pavement and freeze. When this happens, the water will expand, widening cracks even more.

Utilize asphalt resurfacing in Nashville, TN after weather damage

Once your asphalt pavement begins to degrade due to stress from temperature changes and water, future damage is likely to occur even faster. In order to preserve the foundation of your asphalt and keep your roadway drivable, you’ll want to have the top layer of asphalt repaired. This might require simple crack repairs or a full resurfacing of the asphalt to give the pavement a brand-new look.

If your driveway or parking lot requires repairs to prevent further weather damage, call Priority Paving! Our experts are highly skilled in residential and commercial asphalt resurfacing in Nashville, TN and can make your asphalt pavement look like new.

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