Asphalt is one of the most cost-friendly and durable paving options. However, asphalt paved surfaces require regular and proper maintenance to protect them from the adverse effects of extreme weather conditions. These conditions range from extreme cold to scorching hot temperatures, making your asphalt pavement deteriorate within a few weeks, if not months.
This post will discuss how rain, cold, and hot weather conditions affect asphalt pavements. Thus, you need to schedule regular asphalt maintenance to reduce the effects of extreme weather conditions. Read on for more information.
Effects of Hot Weather on Asphalt
Like all other surfaces, asphalt absorbs heat rapidly because of its dark color. This, in turn, makes the surface temperature increase. The constant and prolonged exposure to extremely hot temperatures causes soft spots to develop, creating the ideal conditions for surface damage.
The following are the common effects of extremely hot temperatures on asphalt paving.
Raveling is the process by which individual aggregate particles are dislodged from the asphalt surface. This usually occurs when the asphalt binder hardens and becomes brittle. The high temperatures make the binder shrink, causing cracks to develop on the surface. These cracks allow water and air to enter, further accelerating the raveling process.
Florida asphalt paving experts from ABC Paving say that bleeding is another common effect of extremely hot weather conditions on asphalt pavements. It occurs when the asphalt binder melts and rises to the surface, causing the pavement to appear shiny. While this may not seem like a big problem, it can cause serious damage to your pavement in the long run.
The main problem with bleeding is that it results in the loss of asphalt binder. This makes the surface susceptible to cracking and traveling since there is no longer anything holding the aggregate particles together.
Spalling is perhaps the most serious effect of hot weather on asphalt pavements. It occurs when the surface layer splits and peels away from the underlying layer. This happens because the heat causes the asphalt to expand and crack, leading to flaking or chipping.
Effects of Cold Weather on Asphalt
Like hot weather, extreme cold can also cause a lot of damage to your asphalt pavement. The main problems caused by cold weather are as follows:
Cracking is one of the most common effects of cold weather on asphalt pavements. It occurs when the surface layer of the pavement contracts while the underlying layer remains stationary. This leads to the development of numerous small cracks on the surface.
The main problem with cracking is that it allows water and air to seep into the pavement, accelerating the deterioration process. In addition, cracking makes the pavement more prone to potholes and other types of damage.
Frost heave is another common problem caused by cold weather conditions. It occurs when water droplets form in the small cracks on the asphalt surface and turn into ice. As the ice expands, it pushes the adjacent pavement up, creating unsightly bumps on the surface.
Frost heave can cause a lot of damage to your pavement if not addressed immediately. It can even cause the asphalt to break apart and collapse in severe cases.
Potholes are one of the most dangerous types of asphalt damage. They occur when water seeps into the cracks on the surface and freezes. As the ice expands, it creates a void under the pavement, which eventually leads to the formation of a pothole.
Potholes can cause serious accidents if not repaired immediately. They can also cause a lot of damage to vehicles, particularly if they are driven over at high speeds.
Effect of Rain on Asphalt
Rain is one of the most common causes of asphalt damage. It can cause a variety of problems, such as:
Water seepage is one of the most common effects of rain on asphalt pavements. It occurs when the water droplets form on the surface and work their way down the cracks. This can eventually lead to the development of potholes and other types of damage.
Ponding is another common problem caused by rain on asphalt pavements. It occurs when water accumulates on the surface and does not drain properly. This can eventually lead to the formation of large puddles, which can damage the pavement over time. Ponding can also make the pavement slippery, which can cause accidents.
Erosion is another common problem caused by rain on asphalt pavements. It occurs when the water droplets wash away the surface layer of the pavement. This can eventually lead to the formation of potholes and other types of damage. In addition, erosion can also make the pavement more susceptible to cracking and traveling.
Preventing weather damage to your asphalt pavement
There are a few things you can do to prevent weather damage to your asphalt pavement:
- Use seal coats: Sealcoats provide a protective barrier against the elements, preventing them from causing damage to your asphalt pavement.
- Fix any cracks or potholes immediately: By fixing any cracks or potholes as soon as they form, you can prevent them from becoming bigger and causing more damage.
- Regularly clean the surface: Cleaning the surface of your asphalt pavement regularly can help keep it looking good and prevent water and dirt from seeping in and causing damage.
Weather can seriously affect asphalt pavements, causing cracking, frost heave, potholes, and other types of damage. It is important to take steps to prevent this damage by using sealcoats, fixing cracks and potholes immediately, and cleaning the surface regularly.