Being very durable, asphalt is tough. For its rugged durability and ease of re-surfacing, sealcoating, and even re-paving, it is used in commercial applications, parking lots, and driveways across the country. Asphalt does require maintenance to upkeep, despite being tough and reliable. Otherwise, there will be some cause some minor inconveniences for the folks that drive or park on those surfaces. Damage is caused by few primary elements that it is exposed to day after day, and we at Andersen Asphalt & Striping would like to discuss them today.
What Happens when Oxygen Hits Asphalt?
An effect which many believe is caused by sunlight is when asphalt paving gets older the color fades. Oxidation, in reality, causes the gradual decline from rich black to a duller grey color. The much-needed elasticity is lost in the process, in addition to the discoloration, leaving the surface more vulnerable to cracking from normal wear and tear. Obviously, since there is no way to prevent oxidation from impacting it, it is crucial to protect the surface of your asphalt.
Does Asphalt Fade in the Sun?
The unseen ultraviolet ray from the sun constantly assaults your asphalt, even on a cloudy day. Causing a weakening in the surface, the UV rays carried with the sun slowly begin to break down the binding agent found in asphalt paving. The loosening pebbles coming from the surface, which is a clear indicator that the asphalt is beginning to lose its grip on the bound together stones, is one of the main signs of sunlight damage.
What Chemicals Break Down Asphalt?
Another large cause of asphalt damage is chemical contact, primarily the chemicals leaked from vehicles, particularly harmful are oil puddles that pool under parked cars, which quickly soak into the asphalt. The asphalt will not only be weakened, once saturated, but it will become unsightly with stains. This poses quite a serious threat since much of asphalt is used for parking.
Does Water Erode Asphalt?
No matter if it be rain, snow, or gradually forming (and damaging) ice; even underground water poses a problem for asphalt, your asphalt will have to deal with every drop of precipitation that hits the area, regardless of the climate in which you live. The same principle holds true to asphalt paving when water notoriously causes structural damage in the foundations of homes and buildings. Asphalt will have a much shorter life, requiring a new asphalt paving soon if in the event if your asphalt receives large enough structural damage, unfortunately.
Can Asphalt Handle Weight from Heavy Vehicles?
A portion of the blame for damages over time comes from the heavy vehicles that frequently drive and park upon the surface of the asphalt, as you might have guessed. Through friction and the burden caused by their weight, regular vehicle traffic will eventually take their toll on the surface of the asphalt. As they put a much higher burden upon the surface, especially damaging is heavier trucks causing it to break down far more quickly.