Summer officially started on June 21st, and hopefully, you’ve been enjoying the weather amidst the chaos currently ensuing around the globe. The season has since been in full swing, with outside temperatures staying around 80-90 in the Midwest. The high sun exposure is excellent news for your garden and your tan– but it can be detrimental to your asphalt parking lot, driveway, or roadway. Just as asphalt doesn’t perform well during winter (See our other blog post), it’s also über-sensitive to hot weather and the UV rays that go along with it. Hot summer weather could cost you big-time in future repairs, but we’re here to help!

Weakened Pavement

Intense sunlight is coupled with intense UV rays, which are invisible but extremely damaging to asphalt surfaces by speeding up the deterioration process. Ultraviolet rays break down your asphalt by weakening the bonds of the oils/components within it and make it fade to grey. Once enough damage has been done from the rays, water will eventually breach the structure’s surface and trickle down to the foundation, causing permanent damage.

This is why we highly suggest starting a maintenance plan with us, including routine sealcoating every 2-3 years. Sealcoat is the surefire way to keep your driveway/parking lot/roadway safe against UV ray damage. Applying sealcoat to pavement actually provides as a protective watertight layer against nature’s elements. You’ll be prolonging both the life of your pavement and the need to replace it prematurely.

New & Worsening Cracks & Potholes

Based on recent Midwest summers, it’s not abnormal for temperatures to exceed 90° on several occasions. What’s more, your asphalt surface will run ~10 degrees hotter than what the outside temperature reads. As you may know, molecules move around faster when they’re heated up. So, when your blacktop gets hot:

  1. The molecular bonds that hold the asphalt together become malleable
  2. The asphalt surface heats up in uneven portions
  3. The make-up of the entire structure becomes distorted

The unevenness often results in the asphalt slab curling and stress fractures forming on the slab’s top and bottom. When the heat causes the asphalt to expand, it dramatically increases the likelihood of cracks, potholes, soft spots, depressions, and stress fractures to appear or worsen.

It is crucial to take care of all cracks and potholes ASAP, or at least before temperatures decrease in autumn in order to get the most years out of your surface. Otherwise, your asphalt will fall victim to the freeze-thaw weather cycle and cause even more damage to the asphalt surface and your wallet. Not only do they negatively affect the curb appeal of a property and pose a safety hazard, but asphalt cracks and holes will only get worse with time. Luckily, we offer quick services such as crack sealing, pothole patching, and infrared methods that could be perfect for your property and budget.

Faded Pavement Markings

As the UV rays will dull a once jet-black pavement, they will do the same to your parking stalls, painted curbs, and other pavement markings. Easily visible line-striping on parking lots is essential for drivers and pedestrians alike. Proper pavement markings enhance any property’s value by ensuring a well-maintained, efficient, and compliant parking lot or roadway. They are designed to maximize space while increasing the traffic-flow productivity of pedestrians and vehicles. We highly suggest investing in getting fresh pavement markings each summer, for both safety and aesthetic reasons!

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But don’t sweat it, our pavement experts provide innovative, cost-effective, and timely maintenance solutions for all of the asphalt issues that come with the change in seasons. Our team has 30+ years of experience with concrete and asphalt paving, maintenance, and repairs, for commercial, residential, industrial, condominium, and townhome association properties. To extend your pavement’s lifetime and stretch your maintenance dollars, we preserve concrete/asphalt surfaces with a customized approach of long-term maintenance plans. By prioritizing procedures based on each property’s maintenance needs and funding, we’re your trusted partner for the full lifecycle of parking lots, driveways, roads, sidewalks, dolly pads, and more.

Posted by C. Butler on 7/1/20