You may welcome summertime and the pleasant weather it brings. Good weather conditions can be good for your business as well. But if you have asphalt on the exterior of your commercial property, the sunny weather might hurt your pavement.
However, you can keep your pavement looking its best in the summer months if you know what issues to look out for. Pay attention to your asphalt and consult your local paving contractors if you spot any problems. Read on to learn how summer weather can impact your asphalt pavement and how you can preserve it.
Can Asphalt Melt in Hot Temperatures?
As high temperatures make you sweat, you can complain that it feels like you are melting. But can the asphalt outside of your commercial building actually melt in the summer heat? If outdoor temperatures reach 120 degrees or more, asphalt may begin to melt. It will not become liquid, but it can get soft which will negatively impact its structure. This phenomenon may make waves appear on the pavement.
Heat can also make asphalt expand. If temperatures drop quickly, such as when the sun sets, then the material will contract. This abrupt thermal change can leave cracks and other damage to the pavement. Moisture could seep into these cracks and put the pavement at risk of further harm fairly quickly.
You will need to contact a paving contractor to repair cracks in your pavement to protect the safety of you, your employees, and your customers. You should also note that dark-colored asphalt will absorb heat, making the pavement’s surface hot to the touch. This could also pose a safety hazard to people in the area who could burn themselves.
How Does Direct Sunlight Affect Asphalt?
Hot weather could potentially harm your asphalt pavement, but the sunlight that comes during the summer months could also affect this part of your property. Asphalt exposed to direct sunlight will absorb UV rays as well as heat.
The harsh UV rays can lead to a chemical reaction in the asphalt called oxidation. This impacts the binding of the oils in the asphalt, weakening its structure.
This can lead to brittleness in the pavement, increasing the chances that it can crack or buckle. Pressures, such as when a vehicle drives over the pavement, could be more likely to damage asphalt after this type of reaction has taken place.
UV rays can also affect the color of asphalt, leading it to fade and look less aesthetically pleasing. Any paint on the pavement may also be impacted, and it could flake or peel away.
Seal coating asphalt can create a protective layer against the UV rays, reducing the risk of this reaction in the material. This shields the asphalt, helping it look its best throughout the summer. For optimal preventative care for your pavement, you should reseal your asphalt pavement every three years.