When it receives proper care, asphalt makes a strong and durable pavement. However, it is not impervious to damage from seasonal weather. As local asphalt paving companies know, seasonal fluctuations in the Austin area can pose certain threats to your pavement.
How Do the Austin Seasons Affect Your Asphalt?
Some people believe that asphalt pavement has a high tolerance for heat because asphalt contractors apply the material while it is hot. However, if you examine the reasons for applying hot asphalt, you will find that virtually all of them relate to the workability of the mix. Asphalt needs to be hot to be spread evenly; the cooler the asphalt, the greater the likelihood of clumping. It also needs to be hot to be compacted properly. After installation, however, extreme heat can cause surface cracking. Depending on the age of the pavement and the formula of the mix, hot weather can even soften the pavement, making it more susceptible to damage from traffic. Furthermore, ultraviolet radiation from harsh sunlight can dry out the pavement and leave it brittle.
The chances of damage increase when temperatures soar and the weather is dry; in Austin, temperatures usually are at their highest during July and August, which are also two of the driest months. However, rain does not necessarily mitigate the risks. If water leaks through open cracks, it can erode the pavement’s base. Gaps can form between the base and the pavement, allowing the pavement to sag, crack and crumble.
What Threats Do Cold Temperatures Pose?
Most of the winter damage incurred by paving in the Austin area is the result of water trapped beneath the pavement. If the trapped water freezes, it will expand and exert pressure on both the pavement and the base. When thawing occurs, the pavement can sag, which is a common cause of potholes. Every freeze/thaw cycle has the potential to cause additional damage to the pavement. In Central Texas, it is not uncommon for temperatures to fall below freezing overnight before rising well above freezing the following day. Therefore, during a single winter, your asphalt paving could experience as many as 15 or 20 freeze/thaw cycles.
How Can Property Managers and Owners Protect Asphalt Pavements From Seasonal Damage?
If you own or manage a property with an asphalt parking lot or other pavement, the best way to prevent seasonal damage is to ensure that the pavement receives professional, timely maintenance. Two critical procedures are crack repairs and seal coating. Timely crack repairs prevent water infiltration, which is a leading source of damage in all seasons. Seal coating blocks UV rays and restores color to faded pavements. Other tips include the prompt removal of leaked automotive fluids, keeping drains free from clogs, and the periodic removal of piles of mud, grass clippings, dead leaves, and trash.
How Can Alpha Help Prevent Seasonal Damage?
Alpha Paving is an Austin-based contractor and we offer a full range of asphalt-related services, including new construction, sealcoating, crack repairs, street maintenance, parking lot striping, road construction, asphalt milling, speed bump installation, and asphalt resurfacing. We also offer concrete services. Our company is known for delivering outstanding craftsmanship and exceptional customer service at reasonable prices. If you would like to request a free quote, call our office at 512-677-9001 or submit our form online.
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