August is upon us and with it comes the “dog days of summer”. Those hot days when the sun just beats down upon the earth. This relentless onslaught of heat can cause the various glues and bonding agents found within asphalt to dehydrate and crumble and also cause the sealants to become unstable and to weaken.
Just as you put transmission fluid in your, check and add oil to the engine, and you paint your house, you should do a little preventive maintenance on your asphalt paving project. Preventive maintenance is defined as those activities that correct minor surface deficiencies of a pavement in good condition and extend the pavement life by protecting the structure.
One of the ways to prepare for the hot summer heat is by ensuring our asphalt driveways and walkways are coated properly and prepared to endure the higher temperatures. As a property owner you are probably wondering “how and why does this damage occur?”
In the aging process, the thin layer of mastic on the surface of the asphalt pavement ages (oxidizes) from exposure to air (oxygen) and sun (ultraviolet light). In the oxidation process, the chemistry of the asphalt changes, turning it more brittle, less sticky (adhesive) and less elastic. The sun and its rays essentially dry out the liquid asphalt (what keeps the aggregate “glued” together) through this process of oxidization; thereby causing shrinkage which creates cracks allowing for water and chemicals to penetrate within.
These chemicals and petroleum products, along with the penetrating water then break down the asphalt paving even more, causing your asphalt to deteriorate at a much faster rate. Once the water has the chance to penetrate through the damage the sun has created, it also contributes to the quick disintegration of the base beneath the asphalt. All of these damages in combination with one another, work together to break down your surfaces and decrease their life span.
So how do I stop the sunlight from damaging our surfaces? Damage from sunlight is unavoidable – it will happen and there’s no avoiding it. However there are safeguards you can initiate to get the most life out of your asphalt. The most effective way to slow down this process is through the application of a sealcoat. A sealcoat is a protective barrier that is applied on top of the asphalt to protect it from the elements and various chemicals it may come into contact with throughout the duration of its life. Think of sealcoating as a waterproof layer that will help the asphalt repel and shed water more easily, thereby stopping it from penetrating and getting to the base. It also inhibits or slows down the oxidization process caused by the sun, adding years to the asphalt’s life span. It also will even out the surface making it look uniform and visually pleasing.
Whether you’re a homeowner or a business owner with commercial property, James Kurpiel Inc is here to help with your asphalt paving project – whatever it may require. You can contact us should you have any questions, or would like us to provide you with a free quote regarding your property maintenance.
19 Orchard St. – Hackensack, N.J. 07601 / Toll Free at 1-800-273-9769 / (201) 342-3170