How Does Weather Impact Asphalt?

January 6, 2021 Published by Leave your thoughts

Few industries are as dependent on the weather as asphalt paving. If the weather’s too hot or cold or too wet, we can’t get our jobs done! The effects of weather on asphalt in Phoenix, AZ continue throughout the pavement’s lifespan, changing its appearance and potentially causing significant damage. Continue reading to learn everything there is to know about the weather’s impact on your driveway or parking lot:

  • Moisture: Rainfall is the number one enemy for an asphalt driveway or parking lot. Water can seep into the surface and erode the sublayer, eventually causing nasty potholes. Asphalt contractors account for this by grading the area before laying asphalt to ensure water flows harmlessly off the surface.
  • Temperature changes: Like other materials, asphalt expands when the temperature rises, and contracts when it drops. Fortunately, minor temperature changes don’t impact your asphalt. However, drastic temperature shifts on asphalt in Phoenix, AZ can cause the pavement to curl at the edges or crack. The cracks may start as small stress cracks, but they’ll continue to grow over time.
  • Sunshine: Although the sun’s UV rays don’t give your asphalt a sunburn, they’re quite harmful to its surface. Years of Arizona sunshine beating down on the asphalt fades its appearance and makes the asphalt more brittle. As you’ll read below, being proactive with sealcoating is the best way to reduce the sun’s harmful impact.

What can be done?

You can reduce the effects of weather on asphalt in Phoenix, AZ by being proactive. Here are a few ways you and your asphalt contractor can fight off Mother Nature’s impact on your asphalt:

  • Sealcoat regularly: Sealcoating your asphalt involves applying a liquid sealant to the surface that protects the asphalt from all of the nasty weather mentioned above. Applying sealcoat restores your asphalt’s original appearance, prolongs its lifespan and helps you save a ton of money in the long run. While you can sealcoat your driveway yourself, we recommend hiring a professional to tackle the job.
  • Make repairs as soon as possible: Those tiny stress cracks that appear in your asphalt shouldn’t be ignored. Although they start small, they’ll continue to get longer and wider as time goes on. When rainfall gets in there, the moisture will erode the subsurface layer. DIY-ers can prevent the cracks from getting worse by covering them up with asphalt patch from the hardware store.
  • Repave when necessary: Asphalt driveways and parking lots can last a really long time—up to 20 years—as long as you have them sealcoated and patch up cracks. As your driveway or parking lot gets up there in years, we recommend biting the bullet and repaving the entire surface. Your new asphalt will look great and be better at fending off the weather.

Call our team if your asphalt is struggling

Now that we’ve started the new year, it’s time to reassess your asphalt situation. If your driveway or parking lot is seeing the effect of temperature shifts on asphalt in Phoenix, AZ, hire Sunstar Seal Coating, Inc. to make repairs. Give us a call today to learn more about all of our asphalt services.

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