Over time, asphalt will inevitably begin to deteriorate and breakdown. On average, your asphalt surface should have a lifespan of around 15-30 years, if properly and regularly maintained. But, there are also several damaging elements to asphalt that can affect its durability, strength, and how long it lasts.
Here are the top 5 most damaging elements to asphalt:
FIVE: Motor Oil
Your asphalt surface is meant to be driven and parked on. But, with that comes some potentially damaging substances that can spew from cars. If a car is leaking oil and is left in the same spot, it will begin to break down this section of asphalt. When motor oil sits on top of your asphalt, it will begin to penetrate the surface. It will begin to break it down slowly. Even more, this slow breakdown makes your blacktop more susceptible to cracks, crumbling, and creates vulnerability of the base.
FOUR: Tree Roots Near Paved Road
If you have large trees on your property, their roots spread far underground. These roots are very strong. The large ones will often spread as far as necessary to acquire the necessary nutrients and water to thrive. Therefore, if you have a large tree next to, or within the vicinity of you asphalt, there are likely roots growing under your parking lot surface. This growth can disrupt the base. Roots often shift to find nutrients and as they grow which can lead to cracks, and bumps.
THREE: UV Rays/Sun Damage
Your dark asphalt surface will typically run about 10 or so degrees hotter than what the outside temperature reads. More so on a day with abundant sunlight. When UV rays begin to break down your asphalt, it can become brittle and dried out, therefore leading to damages. Similarly, by incorporating sealcoating into your pavement maintenance regimen can go a long way in protecting it from these damaging UV rays to help slow down the deterioration process caused by sun damage.
TWO: Heavy Vehicles
Pavement fatigue is a term to describe progressive damages to asphalt from constant exposure to heavy loads and traffic. When we discuss traffic loads and its effects on asphalt, there are several aspects to consider; contact pressure, wheel load, speed, and axle configuration. Next, visit our blog Can Traffic & Vehicle Loads Affect Pavement for a detailed description of how these aspects distress asphalt. Also, find out which areas of pavement are more susceptible to potholes HERE.
ONE: Water On Asphalt
Above all, water is the number one most damaging element to asphalt. Areas that experience continued standing water can lead to deterioration of your asphalt and its base. Overtime, water will begin to break down asphalt. This will decrease the overall strength and durability of the asphalt mixture. This can cause cracks. For that reason, once cracking occurs on the surface, the water can now travel down and penetrate the base. Each time this area puddles, the damage begins accelerating and increases in severity. Proper drainage and regular asphalt repair and maintenance are the best ways to avoid damages associated with water! Read more in our blog, Water’s Effect On Asphalt Pavement Deterioration.
In conclusion, when it comes to paving your parking lot, first and foremost, make sure to hire a reputable contractor that will install your blacktop correctly and with the best materials possible. If the installation of an asphalt surface is not correctly done, deterioration will begin much quicker. Furthermore, this is especially true when coming into contact with these damaging elements. By hiring EastCoat Pavement Services for your commercial asphalt paving, you can rest assure that we take all of this into consideration. With regular maintenance after install to preserve the quality of your asphalt you will be in good shape. You are certainty hiring a contractor with over 20 years of experience in commercial paving.
Starting with our free consultation, we will make sure to conduct a thorough analysis and site inspection. We are available to answer any questions you may have. We work closely with each of our clients to create a custom plan for your unique property! Contact us today for your free consultation, and let us ensure that your asphalt is installed correctly the first time!