The seasons are changing, and so is your asphalt. What do those changes look like? That’s a great question. And this article has all the answers.
The Hot and Cold Seasons
Your Asphalt Might Expand and Crack
Extreme temperatures tend to wreak havoc on pavement. Consider the following two scenarios:
- Scenario #1 – You live in a warm-weather climate, like San Diego or Los Angeles. Those summer months can be tough on your asphalt. That’s because extreme heat causes your pavement to expand and, eventually, crack.
- Scenario #2 – You live in a cold-weather climate, like Lake Tahoe, Mammoth Lakes, or Big Bear. Those harsh winters can be equally tough on your asphalt. That’s because water can seep into the asphalt and freeze. And when that water freezes, it expands and, similarly, causes your asphalt to crack.
But there’s no need to worry; these changes usually happen slowly over time. Asphalt is a flexible pavement surface, so as long as you’re keeping up with regular maintenance, you’ll get the most out of your pavement investment.
You Might See Waves and Soft Spots
Not only can the heat create cracks in your asphalt, it can also lead to depressions and soft spots. That’s because your asphalt is getting hammered with something called “solar radiation,” a force that causes your asphalt to change shape and weaken. These soft spots are most likely to come about during the summer season when the heat is strong and the days are long.
Your Striping Can Start to Fade
Whether you have a parking lot or roadway on your property, your asphalt probably has a bit of striping. Maybe it communicates that an aisle is “one way,” or maybe it defines the boundaries of each parking spot. You rely on that striping to communicate important information to drivers. During the summer months, the UV rays from the sun are stronger (and the sun beats on your pavement for more hours during the day) and can cause that striping to fade. If you see this happening, you can usually just touch up paint. But if the fading is extreme, it creates a potentially dangerous situation, and you’ll want to have the striping redone.
The Rainy and Dry Seasons
You Might See Some Potholes
Rains can really take a toll on your asphalt. Let’s say a couple of cracks formed in your asphalt over the summer. Those cracks allow water to seep into the ground, and that seepage can wash away your asphalt’s foundation, weaken the surface, and create the perfect conditions for potholes to form.
Your Asphalt Might Get Slippery
While slippery pavement is typically associated with snow and ice during the winter, warm, dry conditions can create slippery pavement, too. Without heavy rain to give your pavement a periodic wash, dirt and oil can build up—especially on a surface that’s not properly maintained. So when you get a drizzle of rain, that little bit of moisture combines with the oil and debris to create a grimey film that can actually be pretty slick. And this can be even more dangerous because motorists aren’t expecting slippery conditions.
Black Diamond Can Help with Seasonal Wear and Tear
Asphalt, just like anything else, will naturally degrade over time. But here’s the good news: There’s something that you can do to significantly slow down that process. You can hire Black Diamond. We’ll come out to seal the cracks, do the preventive maintenance and all of the sealcoating. Call Black Diamond today to protect your asphalt against the seasonal extremes.