As the summer months near, and the weather gets warmer and warmer, we have to make sure our properties are well cared for. Heat can cause glues and bonding agents in asphalt paving to dehydrate and crumble and sealants to weaken. April has already been the hottest month in more than a few countries, so we must adequately prepare for the hot summer heat by ensuring our surfaces are coated properly and prepared to endure high temperatures and lots of traffic. Heavier traffic will be caused by tourism, vacationers travelling to nearby lakes and resorts and the usual heavy truck traffic.
So how exactly does the sun damage asphalt paving?
The sun and its rays essentially dry out the liquid asphalt (what keeps the aggregate “glued” together) through a process called oxidization. Once the asphalt is brittle from oxidization, it no longer has the ability to flex with traffic, and adapt to temperature changes. In the end this heat causes the materials to shrink creating cracks and allowing water, chemicals and petroleum to penetrate them. These chemicals and petroleum products break down the asphalt paving and cause it to deteriorate at a much faster rate. Once the water has the chance to penetrate through the damage the sun has created, it also contributes to the quick disintegration of the base beneath the asphalt. All of these damages work together to break down your surfaces and decrease their life span.
How can we stop the sunlight from damaging our surfaces?
Damage from sunlight is unavoidable – it will happen over time. This is especially true if your commercial, residential property or industrial property is in a place with high temperatures year-round.
The best and most effective way to slow down this process is through the application of a sealcoat. A sealcoat is a protective barrier that is applied on top of the asphalt to protect it from the elements and various chemicals it may come into contact with throughout the duration of its life. A sealcoat is like a waterproof layer that will help the asphalt repel and shed water more easily, which stops it from penetrating the asphalt and getting to the base. In addition, it slows down the oxidization process caused by the sun, further lengthening the asphalt’s life span. It also will even out the surface making it look uniform and visually pleasing.
Whether you’re a homeowner or a business owner with commercial property, Richmond Blacktop is here to help with your asphalt paving project – whatever it may require. You can contact us should you have any questions, or would like us to provide you with a free quote regarding your upcoming project! We are committed to excellence, and a customer experience that surpasses your expectations.