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Essential Pavement Maintenance Tips for the Summer

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pavement maintenance

With the wear and tear that most roads endure daily, it’s essential to conduct proper pavement maintenance to ensure the longevity of your pavement. One aspect to note, though, is that pavement maintenance in the summer serves different purposes based on the region and climate.

In regions that experience cold weather in the winters but relatively warm temperatures in the summer, the early summer season is the perfect time to repair cracks and deterioration that occurred in the winter, strengthen pavement for summer heat, and prepare pavement for the winter to come. In warm climates, summer pavement maintenance involves repairs, and, most importantly, ensuring pavement preservation.

Effects of Summer Heat on Pavement

While winter weather and cold, icy conditions have huge effects on the strength and endurance of pavement, summer weather and heat from the sun present a completely different set of challenges.

Asphalt vs. Concrete

Surface type will play a huge role in pavement maintenance in the summer, as asphalt and concrete are two very different surface types. Each have their own advantages and disadvantages, especially when it comes to how they handle weather conditions, and thus they should be carefully chosen based on the climate.

Asphalt is the preferred surface type in regions that experience cold weather and heavy snows. Not only does the nature of asphalt allow it to absorb more heat, it in turn melts snow and ice quicker than concrete. It is also largely unaffected by cold temperatures.

During the winter months in colder climates, concrete paving is prone to cracking and deterioration from the continuous contraction and expansion of the concrete caused by freezing and thawing cycles.  

On the other hand, concrete is the preferred surface type in warm weather climates. High heat not only makes asphalt extremely hot to the touch, but it also causes it to soften and become oily. 

What surface type you have chosen to pave with will greatly influence the steps for pavement maintenance you take this summer.

How to Protect and Prepare Your Pavement in the Summer

Whether you’ve chosen asphalt or concrete, the first step before starting any pavement maintenance in the summer is to thoroughly inspect the pavement. Some things to look for prior to beginning pavement maintenance include:

  • Cracking – Cracks ¼ inch wide or larger are a cause for concern.
  • Potholes – Large potholes are a threat to the health of your pavement, but also to motorists and their vehicles.
  • Raveling – Loose rocks and gravel are a product of raveling, or deterioration, of pavement which makes pavement thin over time or erodes it entirely.
  • Discoloration – A change in color, especially, around cracks, can have a variety of causes that threaten the strength of pavement.

Pavement Maintenance: Regular Cleaning

Contaminants such as oil and gasoline can have a very slow but detrimental effect on pavement. Regularly cleaning the pavement can reduce the risk of discoloration and erosion from harsh contaminants and chemicals.

Removing dirt and debris allows water to run-off pavement more easily, reducing the risk of water causing any additional cracks or deterioration. Concrete is especially susceptible to the growth of algae and mold which can be damaging over time and prevent proper water run-off.

Pavement Maintenance: Repairing Cracks

Filling in cracks in pavement is the first line of defense against moisture damage and will increase durability and ultimately extend the life of your pavement. Cracks allow water and other contaminants to seep into pavement, causing expansion. Cracks also leave pavement susceptible to further damage and cracking.

Crack filling is a great way to preserve your investment in the long run.

Pavement Preservation: Fog Sealing vs. Sealcoating and Resurfacing

Fog sealing newer asphalt pavement is a great approach to protecting your asphalt and making it look brand new. This process involves applying an asphalt-based fog sealer to a previously laid asphalt surface.

Sealcoating will also help seal cracks formed in the winter months and protect the surface from future cracking during the upcoming winter months.

It is recommended that fog sealing is performed every 3-5 years and seal coating every 1-2 years. The ideal time to seal asphalt is between the months of May and October, making it the perfect project for pavement maintenance in the summer.

Older oxidized, raveling asphalt pavement areas may need an asphalt resurfacer applied prior to sealing the rest of the pavement.

While pavement resurfacing is more often discussed in terms of asphalt, concrete pavement can also benefit from resurfacing. Check out our blog post on concrete resurfacing to learn more!

Pavement Maintenance and Preservation Solutions from UNIQUE Paving Materials

If it’s time to tackle summer pavement maintenance, UNIQUE Paving Materials offers all the products you need to repair, protect, and maintain your pavement. Check out some of our pavement repair and preservation products:

Along with Summer Pavement Maintenance, Here’s How We Can Help

Pavement maintenance isn’t limited to just the summer months. UNIQUE Paving Materials offers a host of products that can meet any of your paving needs during the summer and beyond.

Don’t see what you’re looking for? Check out our options for custom formulas.

Reach Out for More Information on Pavement Preservation and Pavement Maintenance in the Summer!

Pavement maintenance in the summer usually involves a couple of steps – especially if you’re in a climate prone to cold and fluctuating temperatures – and typically requires an array of products.

Learn more about why pavement maintenance is so important and how we can provide you with everything you need to protect and maintain your pavement this summer by contacting us today!