A major asphalt surface such as a parking lot will develop problems that will demand repairs and proper upkeep. Over time, asphalt will need certain maintenance and repairs which often includes pothole and crack repairs, as well as asphalt seal-coating and re-striping. In most cases, major maintenance and repairs only occur about every ten to fifteen years. Premature wear and the breakdown of the asphalt is contributed to certain elements and exposure. Andersen Asphalt & Striping would like to share some of the common causes of premature breakdown of an asphalt parking lot.
Does Hot & Cold Weather Affect Asphalt Paving?
The weather has a major impact on asphalt. The weather can break down the asphalt faster, especially during the winter and summer. During the summer the temperatures get very high in Nevada and the UV rays penetrate the asphalt’s binder. The binder is what holds the asphalt’s rock, sand and aggregates together. The UV rays and heat breaks down the binder which causes the asphalt to decompose. This results in potholes, cracks and turns the asphalt into gravel. In the winter, Nevada does get cold especially in Northern Nevada. During the winter the ground and soil can freeze. If water seeps into the asphalt and then freezes, the water expands which then leads to cracks in the asphalt. When the soil freezes, it too expands, putting pressure on the asphalt from below. This condition also leads to major cracks. When the Asphalt is exposed to hot and cold temperatures, this will lead to premature deterioration of the asphalt.
Heavy Weight of Cars & Trucks on Asphalt
Another reason why asphalt will break down faster than normal is when it is exposed to a lot of heavy weight. When an asphalt lot becomes the site for large and heavy construction equipment or other machinery, the constant weight will cause the asphalt to break down and develop problems. Some of the common problems that develop due to heavy weight are cracks, divots and compression, which causes puddling. When a parking area is used for large and or heavy equipment and machinery, be sure to dedicate more time to maintaining the asphalt and tend to repairs quickly.
Poor Maintenance Leads to Asphalt Deterioration
Like any other man-made structure, asphalt needs regular repairs and maintenance. Asphalt has a life cycle, where after every 3 to 5 years it needs full maintenance. The asphalt will need to be sealcoated which is a new layer of asphalt that is laid over the current asphalt. This helps protect the asphalt from the elements. When asphalt develops smaller problems such as cracks and potholes, these problems should be repaired immediately to prevent further break down of the asphalt. It is better to maintain the asphalt than to neglect it. A neglected asphalt most often can no longer be repaired, and it will need to be replaced completely. To prevent premature breakdown of your asphalt and the cost of asphalt replacements, it is recommended you stay on top of repairs and make sure the asphalt is maintained.