Summer is ramping up and we’ve already experienced some major temperature fluctuations here in Wisconsin. That means it’s time to talk summertime maintenance and what you can do to increase the longevity of your asphalt pavement during the hot summer months. Join us as we explore four negative effects of heat and sun exposure for asphalt and what you can do to prevent further damage!

01. Deterioration & Oxidation

UV rays (also known as UV radiation) can penetrate your asphalt pavement, leading to fading and deterioration of the top layer. As your asphalt pavement is exposed to UV radiation, a chemical reaction occurs causing light oils and heavier oils to combine reducing the overall amount of binding oil in the asphalt which can lead to cracking, webbing, and general deterioration.

What you can do: If you’ve just had your driveway, parking lot, pathway, or drive through installed, be sure to follow the maintenance guidelines provided by your contractor. If you did not receive any instruction or have misplaced it, you can reference our post-installation guidelines here.

We also recommend that you budget for, and commit to, regular sealcoating to add a layer of protection to your asphalt pavement.

02. Tracking

Extremely hot days can soften the surface of hot mix asphalt which can cause small pieces to adhere to shoes, tires, and any other objects contacting the surface. You’ve probably noticed light tire tracks through asphalt before -I t’s likely a result of hot temperatures and friction.

What you can do: On extremely hot days, adjust the flow of traffic to a smaller portion of your lot or driveway to mitigate damage. Encourage heavy equipment and vehicles to stay off your asphalt pavement or request they park on larger pieces of plywood. Also, be sure to schedule a fresh sealcoat if you haven’t had one in the last 24 months.

03. Cracking

Prolonged heat exposure can cause cracking in older asphalt pavements. Pavements like roads, driveways, and parking lots are also more susceptible if they experience moderate to heavy traffic throughout the summer months. As asphalt heats, the binding agents weaken and heavy traffic during these periods can lead to cracking and webbing.

What you can do: Connect with your paving contractor for an evaluation and fix any cracks as soon as possible to prevent further damage from spreading to your base materials. We want to stop water from seeping under the asphalt layer as soon as possible to prevent greater damage to the overall structure. Schedule an annual sealcoating appointment if you haven’t yet to prevent future damage.

Set Up a Maintenance Plan

The best thing you can do to extend the life of your asphalt pavement and mitigate future costly repairs is to schedule a fresh sealcoat every 24 to 36 months. Sealcoating protects asphalt from sun, heat, and water, allowing it to withstand our unpredictable summer temperatures and weather! It is a cost-effective way to extend the life of your pavement and can be completed quickly to limit disruption to your home or business.

Call Johnson and Sons Paving today for a sealcoat or repair estimate. Our dedicated teams are available all summer long to sealcoat and repair asphalt. You can even work with one of our project managers to create a traffic management plan for your business or property to prevent any inconvenience to your employees, tenants, or customers!