Year-round weather threatens the structural integrity of homes, commercial buildings and roads. Asphalt roads and driveways take the brunt of heavy rain, snowplows and hot, ultraviolet rays. Learn how seasonal shifts in weather affect your asphalt driveway or parking lot and what you should do to prolong the life of your pavement.
How Does Weather Affect Asphalt?
Despite its strong formula, asphalt pavement is no match for decades of harsh winters and hot summers. Keep an eye on your driveway or parking lot as the seasons change and be ready to identify issues. Here are a few ways rain, ice and heat affect asphalt.
Rain and Wet Weather
If there are cracks in your asphalt pavement, rain penetrates those cracks and causes serious issues. However, your asphalt’s water problems may not always be visible to you. Beneath the surface, moisture degrades the pavement’s integrity. Steep driveways are also vulnerable to erosion from heavy rainfall, which washes away pavement over time.
Seasonal Temperature Shifts
Heat weakens asphalt and creates hairline cracks that grow larger. As seasons change and the weather cools, cracked asphalt is vulnerable to ice, snow and harsh freeze-thaw cycles that erode the subsurface layers and create air gaps. Air gaps collapse and form potholes when heavy vehicles drive over the asphalt pavement.
Seasonal Road Repairs and Preventative Maintenance
It’s important to take the appropriate steps to repair asphalt before and after seasonal shifts. Preventative maintenance prepares your pavement for extreme weather and saves on major repair expenses down the road. Here are three ways to get your pavement ready for the coming season.
Cracksealing defends against pavement deterioration by increasing the lifespan of your pavement. It prevents water accumulation and debris within the cracks in your asphalt surface. Make sure you address small fractures and large cracks. KOLD-FLO® crack filler is a fast-curing sealer ideal for asphalt roads, driveways and parking lots.
Sealcoating helps asphalt resist oil and gas spills and stops existing stress fractures from spreading. Sealcoating improves the appearance of your asphalt surface and prolongs the life for years to come. Learn more about asphalt sealcoating by checking out What Is Sealcoating? on our blog and shopping for INTEGRA-SEAL® asphalt sealer.
Repair existing potholes as soon as possible. Potholes let more water penetrate into the sublayer of your pavement. Timely repairs prevent larger potholes from forming and creating more substantial and costly damage. Use UPM® Cold Mix pothole repair material to permanently repair potholes and choose a spring, summer, fall or winter formula that aligns with your current season.
Ready to start repairing? Explore our online shop to order your asphalt repair and maintenance materials today. To learn more about DIY driveway repair techniques, check out our driveway repair blog posts.