Recommendations To Protect Your Asphalt From Common Causes Of Damage

Taking care of your asphalt pavement is an ongoing job when you want to keep it protected against natural oxidation, cracks, and other damage that can occur. Here are some areas of potential damage that you can protect your asphalt from with the right care and maintenance.

Winter Damage

Winter weather can be hard on your pavement, whether it is concrete or asphalt. There are quite a few different ways that winter weather and the surrounding environmental factors that come with winter can damage your asphalt. First off, freeze and thaw patterns are a big concern when the temperature warms up during the day and falls below freezing at night. Water that seeps into the pavement cracks will expand at night, thaw during the day, and expand again at night, repeating this day after day. Before long, a tiny thin crack on your asphalt pavement can turn into a wide crack that spreads and turns into a pothole.

To protect against freeze-thaw damage, be sure you fill your asphalt's cracks and damage before winter weather arrives. Then, sealcoat the surface with a protective sealant every few years as your pavement needs it due to wear and aging. Sealcoating fills in the cracks and also creates a waterproof barrier.

Winter damage can also occur when you complete snow removal with a plow blade. Be sure when you arrange for snow plowing, that the blade does not scrape onto the asphalt's surface but skims over the surface. This can leave a thin layer of snow and ice on your pavement, which you can maintain with some ice melt and sand for added traction. Look for ice melt products that will reduce the freezing temperature below the nighttime temperature in your climate. This will prevent the water from freezing within the cracks and causing potential damage.

Vehicle Fluid Saturation

With the regular traffic and parked vehicles that occur with your asphalt pavement, it is no wonder it can easily collect dark stains from vehicle fluids. These dark stains not only look unsightly but are slowly eating away at the asphalt's layers. Vehicle fluids are made from a petroleum compound that mixes with the asphalt's emulsion to soften the structure and break it down, leaving behind pliable materials that crumble apart and don't support a vehicle's weight.

When vehicle stains occur on your pavement, be sure you clean them from the surface as soon as possible. Rinse them clean with a degreaser solution to avoid permanent damage, and apply a protective barrier if your vehicle leaks fluids. Make sure you follow up your cleaning routine with a sealcoating treatment to further protect and restore the surface.