Why Asphalt Degrades Over Time And How To Slow The Process

It's easy to neglect an asphalt parking lot because it seems like asphalt is durable, strong, and not in need of much maintenance. However, like other construction materials, asphalt degrades slowly over time. There are things an asphalt paving contractor can do to slow down the aging so you can postpone having a new lot put in for as long as possible. Here's why asphalt tends to deteriorate and some maintenance and repairs that help it have a longer life.

Weather Exposure Damages Asphalt As It Ages

Rain is damaging to asphalt because it erodes the binder and aggregate. As the bond between the two components of asphalt slowly fades away, the asphalt can crumble and form potholes, cracks, and crumbles. Sun exposure might damage the asphalt too by drying it out and making it brittle and prone to cracking.

Freezing weather can be hard on an asphalt parking lot because rain or snow gets in the cracks and then expands when the liquid freezes. This escalates damage to your parking lot.

Repairs An Asphalt Paving Contractor Might Make

One important thing your asphalt paving contractor may need to do is repair cracks in your parking lot. You might need to have this done once a year, and it might be a good time to do it before winter arrives. Freezing weather is hard on asphalt, but only if there are already cracks, holes, or crumbles present.

If your asphalt paving contractor repairs all the damage to the asphalt before freezing weather arrives, you won't have to worry about worsening damage over the winter.

Another thing your contractor may need to do is put a sealcoat on the asphalt. If you have a busy lot, you may need a new sealcoat every year. A sealcoat is a protective blanket on the asphalt that keeps UV rays and rain from breaking apart the aggregate and binder.

A major repair that might be necessary once your parking lot is several years old is to have it resurfaced. This is indicated if your parking lot is old and has damage that is too extensive for spot repairs. The base that holds up your parking lot has to be in good shape before resurfacing is an option. If resurfacing is suitable for your lot, then the contractor can add a new thin layer of asphalt to your lot to make it look new. This buys more years of life for your lot so you can put off a complete replacement for a while.

For more information, contact an asphalt company like J & B Asphalt.