There are many factors that can affect the strength and durability of your asphalt. At our asphalt driveway paving company, we proudly use only the best asphalt materials for our projects, however, natural elements like water and sunlight can break it down over time. Here are five of the most common asphalt enemies out there:
No matter what kind of water (rain, sprinkler, well, etc.) comes in contact with asphalt, if it sits in puddles on top of the material, it can cause damage. When there are cracks or divots in asphalt that create areas of standing water, the water can break down the chemicals in the asphalt and cause the asphalt to weaken. Once the asphalt weakens, it can make the cracks or divots worse and encourage potholes.
Have you ever driven on a road that has a pattern of large divots? You’re probably driving over an area that is frequented by tractor trailers. Asphalt is designed to hold a lot of weight, but to a certain point. When heavy vehicles drive over the same spot of asphalt repeatedly, the weight causes the asphalt to flex more than it should and will eventually lead to ruts and cracks.
UV rays are not only harmful to your skin – they can also be harmful to asphalt. Areas of asphalt that are exposed to constant sunlight will turn grey and age much faster than areas that are kept in the shade. When UV rays oxidize the tar in asphalt, they cause it to weaken and break down. When this happens, there won’t be enough tar to hold the aggregate together and you’ll eventually end up with just gravel.
Tree roots are very strong, and can sometimes extend up to 70 feet from their trunk in order to search for water to grow. If a section of asphalt is next to a large tree, the roots may end up growing underneath the asphalt. When this happens, the roots can end up shifting the pavement and creating cracks or bumps in it.
If you have an oil leak in your car that you still haven’t fixed, try not to park in the same spot every day on your asphalt driveway. When motor oil sits on top of asphalt, it penetrates it and begins to break it down. As it breaks down, it’s more susceptible to cracks and crumbling, which could lead to even more damage.
How to Prevent Damage
At our asphalt driveway paving company, we recommend sealcoating your pavement every 1-3 years to keep it protected from elements like standing water, UV rays, and motor oil. When it comes to heavy vehicles or tree roots, we suggest choosing a reputable paving company that will pave your area in the best way possible in order to prevent damage.