Three Ways Heat Affects Asphalt

Three Ways Heat Affects Asphalt

Three Ways Heat Affects Asphalt

Asphalt paving is known for its durability and versatility. However, following installation, UV rays from the sun and scorching temperatures can adversely impact your asphalt. Our experts on sealcoating in Park Falls, WI, offer this information on how summer weather and extreme heat impact asphalt pavement.


The oxidation of asphalt is deterioration where the sun's UV rays cause a chemical reaction with asphalt materials. Heavier oils mix with light oils, reducing the binders within the asphalt and weakening the structural integrity and sturdiness of the pavement. This process leads to the asphalt losing elasticity, and the heavier oils cause the pavement to be brittle. The increased fragility of the pavement makes it prone to failure, buckles, and cracks. A clear indicator of asphalt oxidation is when the dark, ebony color of the pavement begins to fade to a tone of ashy black-gray. When this process happens to roads or parking lots, you will also notice pavement markings stripping away. The more UV radiation the pavement is exposed to, the more severe oxidation becomes, leading to potholes or deep cracks that will eventually cause structural failure of the pavement. Asphalt oxidation can be a product of aging after two or three decades, but deterioration will be accelerated by sun ray exposure.


As mentioned above, cracking is sometimes caused by oxidation and solar radiation. Unfortunately, it can also develop due to thermal fluctuations in the pavement. Asphalt can expand with extreme heat over 90 degrees and then contract when it rains or night falls and temperatures drop. Asphalt contraction and expansion lead to cracks or buckling in the pavement surface. Damages regularly occur in aged asphalt, but they can develop in newly installed paving if contractors do not properly install it or you do not perform regular maintenance. In addition, cracking is more common on paved surfaces exposed to heavy traffic patterns. Unfortunately, cracking leads to additional issues, like water intrusion, where moisture from precipitation seeps into the cracks and causes further damage. This water will stay in the gaps if repairs are neglected and expand into ice when temperatures drop below freezing.


Raveling happens when excess moisture or water seeps into cracks and causes binder cohesion within the asphalt materials. As a result, the pavement will ravel together with the soil and aggregate, leading to additional surface damage. Raveling can result from the separation of the aggregate and binder or improper compaction, but it is more common with asphalt cracking. Keep in mind that the more cracks asphalt develops, the more damage will occur. In addition, you may notice base failure, settling, or rutting from water intrusion into pavement cracks.

Heat damage is inevitable to your asphalt paving, but you can extend the life of your pavement and prevent unnecessary damages with repairs and regular sealcoating in Park Falls, WI. Contact us today for your free quote. We have the experience and expertise to handle your residential or commercial asphalt repairs and sealcoating maintenance. Our focus on customer service and satisfaction allows us to exceed your expectations with every service we provide.


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927 S 5th Ave, Park Falls, Wisconsin 54552

(715) 518-8802

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