Environmental Factors Affecting Asphalt Maintenance

Durable and cost-effective, asphalt has been the go-to choice for residential and commercial construction — roads, driveways, parking lots, and other applications. Numerous environmental factors, however, can impact the installation and maintenance of this material. Bonness takes a closer look at each one of them.

Temperature Extremes

Temperature fluctuations can affect asphalt during and after installation. This causes incremental damage to the asphalt surface, leading to cracks and other deformities. Eventually, when exposed to traffic and precipitation, potholes begin to form. For asphalt to withstand the rise and fall of temperatures, proper asphalt mix is imperative, as well as additives to improve its resilience.

Precipitation and Drainage

Water is one of asphalt’s greatest enemies. Improper drainage causes water to accumulate on the asphalt surface, causing erosion. This weakens the structure of the asphalt pavement, resulting in cracks and potholes that further compromise the integrity of the material. In residential and commercial construction, having adequate drainage systems, especially proper slope design and regular drain and gutter maintenance, are vital for preventing water-related damage.

UV Exposure

The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation can do a number on asphalt as well. Exposure to it causes the asphalt binders to oxidize and degrade in a process called photo-oxidation, resulting in surface cracking and loss of flexibility. Prior to installation, the pros utilize sealants and implement routine sealcoating applications to give the asphalt material an additional layer of protection against UV damage.

Vegetation and Trees

Vegetation, especially root growth, can pose a significant threat to the integrity of the asphalt. Tree roots can infiltrate and displace asphalt, causing cracking and upheaval. Also, the shade that trees provide can inhibit sunlight exposure, extending moisture retention that worsens the material’s deterioration. Mitigating vegetation-induced damage involves tree work, particularly root pruning.

For all your asphalt paving needs, turn to Bonness. We have been servicing the driveway and sidewalk needs of Southwest Florida residents for 35+ years. To learn more, give us a call at (239) 597-6221, or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment.