Asphalt is a sticky, black, highly viscous liquid or semi-solid form of petroleum. Asphalt is primarily used for the construction of roads and pavements, where it's used as a glue mixed with construction aggregate particles to create asphalt concrete. For residential purposes, asphalt is common for paving driveways. Although asphalt seems very strong on the surface, it does have its Achilles heel. Asphalt is sensitive to both cold and hot temperatures. Extreme temperatures and continuous change in temperatures are the primary cause of surface cracks.
Here are a few ways in which the seasonal weather can affect asphalt:
Affect Of Cold Temperatures On Vermont Asphalt
Did you know that when the temperature drops outside, the temperature inside the asphalt stays relatively warm? The changes in temperature of the surface lead to subsequent expansion and contraction of the asphalt concrete, resulting in the formation of cracks. Furthermore, when water seeps through these cracks and freezes inside them, it expands the cracks resulting in the creation of small potholes on the surface.
Affect Of Hot Temperatures On Vermont Asphalt
If you live in a tropical area, you have evaded the problem of water freezing inside the cracks. However, excessive heat can cause cracks, as well. The water does not freeze inside but seeps through these cracks and starts eroding the subsurface layers of the asphalt. The process of water flowing through small gaps gradually creates significant gaps and fills them with air. If the pavement above these gaps experiences any pressure, such as the weight of a vehicle passing over it, the asphalt might sag and collapse, which forms a pothole.
Affect Of Rain On Vermont Asphalt
In areas of heavy rain, the asphalt slowly erodes off the surface of the roads, pavements, and driveways, leaving behind bare rocks and cracks on the surface. If the rainwater seeps through the cracks, it erodes the subsurface layers with its continuous flow. With time, the water flowing through the cracks increases the gaps between the layers, and with the smallest pressure, the surface can collapse.
Whether it is hot, cold, or raining, the weather damages the asphalt. Thus, with the changes in the weather, proper care must be ensured of the road. Seal the asphalt on your driveways every few years, which helps protect it from damage by adding extra protection to the surface layer. An additional layer of asphalt on the top stops the water from entering into the cracks and increases the durability of the roads, pavements, and driveways.
Any cracks or holes that emerge must be repaired on an urgent basis as they impose a threat on the pedestrians and the cars that are passing over them. Even the smallest of cracks must not be ignored and must be fixed at the quickest to stop the water from penetrating further into the cracks.
If you have cracks or holes in your Vermont asphalt that require immediate resurfacing services, contact our experts at Gray's Paving & Asphalt Plant today.
Learn why you should apply sealcoating to your asphalt
It is undeniable that asphalt is one of the most popular materials used for paving driveways and pathways. Not only is it super durable and convenient to install, but it is also an environmentally friendly option. Its signature characteristic is giving pavements a strikingly black color that contributes to its overall beauty and value.
Unfortunately, this beautiful dark color is not bound to last long. The change in weather and everyday wear and tear soon take a toll and eventually render the surface with greyish color and numerous cracks and potholes.
The best way to prevent asphalt from decaying is by sealcoating it properly. To understand this better, let’s read what sealcoating is and why sealer should be applied to your asphalt surfaces.
What Is Sealcoating
Sealcoating is a common road resurfacing method that involves applying a special mixture of liquids and small particle solids (such as sand) on new or old asphalt surfaces. It is a protective layer of sorts that prevents the effects of the sun, temperature, moisture, and traffic on your blacktop.
Since asphalt is a not a solid fixture but a dynamic material that needs constant care, it is advised to sealcoat it every two to three years for longevity. It is easy to apply sealer on an asphalt surface. Anyone can do it with little knowledge. However, the more you are aware of its benefits, the better you will be able to take care of your asphalt pavements and walkways.
Benefits Of Applying Sealcoat On Asphalt Surfaces
• Improves Appearance - Your driveway is a busy area. It sees regular foot traffic and has vehicles parked on it nearly every day. If not maintained well, such conditions can have a detrimental effect on your house’s pavement and by extension, the outer appearance. By applying sealer on your asphalt surface, you can keep its deep black color intact for a long time, making the entrance feel more welcoming for guests.
• Strengthens Cracked Areas - Sealcoating becomes particularly valuable when you have cracks and small potholes in your asphalt walkway. Instead of patching every crack one by one, a simple coating of sealer can quickly solve the problem in less time. The coating fills the crack naturally and prevents water from entering the crevices that would otherwise cause more damage to the asphalt.
• Protects The Asphalt Surface - Many factors can severely affect an asphalt surface, such as water (in cold regions) along with heat and chemical spills. When water works its way under the asphalt, it expands and starts causing cracks. Sealcoating the asphalt surface protects it from these external factors while ensuring that your driveway looks great for years to come.
• Blocks The UV Rays - When not protected well, asphalt surfaces can fade and crack easily. This especially happens in the hot regions, where there is high exposure to the ultraviolet rays of the sun. You can use sealcoating to create a buffer between your asphalt walkway and harsh UV rays, as sealer tends to mold itself instead of cracking at high temperatures.
• Promotes Longevity - As compared to concrete, asphalt surfaces do not last long and are more prone to wear and tear. By applying sealcoating on it, you can significantly lengthen the lifespan of an asphalt project while maintaining its appearance.
If you are looking for professional sealcoating services for your pavement, our team at Gray’s Paving & Asphalt Plant can help you! We offer prompt and cost-effective sealcoating services that will have your pavement looking pristine and new in no time. Call today at 802-334-7260.
Gray's Paving & Asphalt Plant has been proudly serving the northern Vermont area since 1984!