It is during the winter that asphalt surfaces – or indeed any type of asphalt and concrete paving – take the most wear. Paving experts Parking Lot Pros say that this is to do with the number one reason why cracks begin to appear in paved surfaces – water. Cracks don’t just open on their own, although it can look like that when observed. What is actually happening is that water manages to seep into the tiniest cavities or cracks in a paved surface, freezes and then expands as it does so. This widens the crack and leaves more space for more water to collect and freeze the next time. This is what degrades asphalt surfaces over time – and it happens in the winter. Accordingly, when it comes to asphalt maintenance, the spring is the perfect time.
There is also the issue of rising temperatures and the effects of changing weather on asphalt surfaces. As the weather changes, it’s wise to help your asphalt surfaces – usually, for private individuals, this means driveways – adjust to the new weather conditions. Warmer weather can cause weeds to grow over an asphalt surface recently degraded by the winter cold. This is yet another reason why it is spring that asphalt surfaces usually undergo their yearly maintenance.
Understanding the Damage
One of these reasons why you should consider attending to asphalt maintenance during the spring is the damage done to your asphalt surface is not always as immediately obvious or as visible as large cracks or potholes. In fact, you are unlikely to ever let it get to this point and, as the spring comes round, your asphalt surface might be looking perfectly functional. Nevertheless, understanding the damage better means looking out for the less obvious evidence of it. This includes:
Very Small Cracks
Cracks are a bit more visible in concrete than they are in asphalt, especially the small ones. Consequently, if your asphalt paving looks up to scratch, there is a chance it might not be. Furthermore, the cracks might be deeper than they are long and wide, meaning more water than you might think can be collected in them.
Raveling is when the surface layer of the asphalt becomes worn on account of pressure from above. This might not be visible, but one of the first effects this can have is the reduction of traction and skid resistance. The surface can also become gradually more uneven, meaning a bumpy ride.
Oxidation is the degradation of certain elements of the asphalt on account of reaction with atmospheric oxygen. This can also cause an unsightly lightening of the color of the asphalt.
Tips for Spring Maintenance
The tips for spring asphalt maintenance are pretty much the same as for asphalt maintenance in general. It’s only that spring is the best time for them. Here follows then a few top spring tips for asphalt maintenance.
Check for Cracks
The most important thing to do (before anything else) is to check for cracks. Afterwards, you can begin some repair work. Remember to look closely and give special attention to any cracks that weren’t there before.
Apply a Sealant
You should do this when the weather is dry. A sealant will fill up existing cracks and give general protection against new ones forming.
Keep the EdgesWeed Clear
Or pull out any that have grown on the tarmac itself. The important thing is to nip this problem in the bud before it gets any worse. So, make sure the edges of the asphalt are weed-free.
If you practice this kind of maintenance on a yearly basis, the problems will never get too big to handle.