Enemies of Asphalt

18 February, 21 / Asphalt Repairs, Crack Seal, Sunland Asphalt

Be an advocate for your asphalt. Knowing enemies of asphalt and the proper care can extend its life. In a time where normal activities and your daily schedule may be interrupted at a moment’s notice, it is critical to be an advocate and not let the condition of your asphalt slip through the cracks (pun intended). One way to do this is to identify the common enemies and specifically which ones your asphalt comes into contact with the most.


Below are some common enemies of asphalt:

Moisture is the biggest enemy of asphalt. Once it seeps into the foundation, it can wash away critical components over time that make up asphalt and keep it strong. It is important to take note of how your asphalt is holding up to any moisture it may come into contact with, especially during monsoon season.


Opposite of moisture, it is not surprising that extreme sun/heat would affect the state of the asphalt under your feet. There are several ways to beat the heat during summertime but asphalt must ensure the sun with no reprieve so it is important to remember that UV rays are a common enemy to your asphalt.


Freezing and Thawing
It seems more recently that we have had many phenomena with freezing temperatures, like snow in the sunny southwest. What a sight for us all but did this here today gone tomorrow weather pattern cause you to think of the condition of your asphalt? Freezing and thawing cause shifting in asphalt and as the snow melts it causes moisture which is asphalt’s #1 enemy as we previously shared.


Cracking, Deterioration, and Wear 
Cracking, deterioration, and normal wear and tear happen with the aging or settling of asphalt. The most common breaking is called “alligator” cracking. This type of enemy is most often caused by traffic use or heavy equipment being stored on-site for an extended period. There is little to avoid this enemy but ways to repair it when it happens and this will help make it less vulnerable to other enemies like moisture.


Over time your asphalt will likely come into contact with not only one but many of the natural enemies we have already covered. With this enemy, you can keep up the maintenance or “well checks” with your asphalt with specialists like the Sunland.


Oil, Grease and Other Substances
Motor oil, diesel oil, and grease contain petroleum that can weaken and penetrate asphalt. This leads to structural breaks down of asphalt followed by cracking. This enemy can be avoided by cleaning up oil and grease spills as soon as possible.


Oxidation is another enemy that can wear away over time. It gradually wears away as asphalt making it brittle, less flexible, and at risk for cracking, deterioration and wearing. Oxidation cannot be avoided but continued maintenance and repair can combat it.


What‘s next, you ask?

Now that you know many of the enemies that affect your asphalt you can make sure that you are being an advocate and scheduling those important “well checks” to extend the life of your asphalt. Contact the experts at Sunland for a free estimate today!