Rising temperatures in the summer can severely impact the quality of asphalt. The high heat causes damage to roads, parking lots, and runways, which can make driving unsafe and harmful to your car. Here’s what you should know about the summer heat and how it affects asphalt.
Summer’s Effect on Asphalt
The dark color of asphalt makes it absorb more heat, making it significantly hotter than the air around it. This temperature increase heats the oils inside the asphalt that are needed to maintain its cohesive state. When these oils heat up, they rise to the surface and slowly evaporate. Without these oils, and the structure begins to crack, leaving openings for other debris to enter, which also heats up and expands. These cracks can be dangerous as they impede a driver’s ability to navigate the road safely.
Heat also creates a softer surface, which is more susceptible to damage. Vehicles can drive safely across the softened material, but impacts or impressions – such as a car jack – can do permanent damage to the pavement. Small dents and cracks may not seem dangerous at first, but as the heat continues the indents can expand and become potholes.
Increased heat combined with heavy traffic weakens the base of the paved area and further damages its structural integrity. Heavy traffic is a major contributor to cracking, especially in hot and rainy areas where rain can seep into the cracks and expand, which creates larger cracks. Professionals can prevent moisture and debris buildup in the base of the road by filling surface cracks with hot rubberized asphalt mix.
If you need asphalt rejuvenation in Alabama or the Florida Panhandle, contact the crew at Midsouth Paving. These experts ensure every project is done swiftly and safely and meets all construction requirements. They also provide safety tips to navigate the area while work is underway. To reach the Alabama offices in Dothan, Eufaula, or Troy, call (334) 712-7500 or visit them online to learn more.