What Causes Asphalt to Break Down?

When it comes to the asphalt that’s used in parking lots and driveways, you want yours to last as long as possible. In order to do that, you should know what things cause asphalt to break down. As one of the leaders for commercial asphalt paving in Charlotte, NC, SMI Paving has the answers you’re looking for. Here are a few things that can cause your asphalt to deteriorate:

  • Oxidation – Asphalt will begin to crack over time because it’s exposed to air. Regular seal coating of your asphalt will help slow down the oxidation process.
  • Cracks – Untreated cracks will grow, fanning out over the surface of your asphalt. While the cracks themselves are problem enough, it’s what they expose your asphalt to that’s the major issue. Cracks allow water to seep down into your asphalt.
  • Water – That leads us to the number one culprit behind asphalt deterioration: water. When moisture seeps into cracks, it forces the asphalt to expand and contract. This can lead to widespread cracking, the formation of potholes, and other issues that can be costly to fix.

If you notice damage to your pavement, don’t wait to call someone for commercial asphalt paving in Charlotte, NC. SMI Paving will give you a free estimate on repairs, maintenance, repaving, and resurfacing.

How Soon Can I Use Freshly Paved Asphalt?

Pavement that’s filled with cracks or potholes should never be ignored. However, you don’t want a commercial asphalt pavement repair project to keep customers away. How should you schedule this type of project so it doesn’t hurt your business? The commercial asphalt paving contractors at SMI Paving can help. We believe that asphalt paving projects should be as stress-free as possible. Here are some basic guidelines for when you can start using freshly paved asphalt:

  • Understand the drying process. On average, it takes about three days for new asphalt to completely dry – but it can take around six months for the pavement to completely settle. Please note that the time of year affects the drying process. For example, the high temperatures and humidity of the summercan cause asphalt to take longer than three days to dry.
  • What should you do during the first 24 hours? You can walk on your asphalt the day after it’s been paved. However, you should avoid wearing high heels, cleats, or other shoes with points. They can do damage to this vulnerable surface. You should definitely avoid parking your car or any other vehicles on the asphalt during the three-day drying process.
  • Follow these tips for the first few months. To help your asphalt be as strong as possible, pay attention to how long heavy objects, like large trucks, are parked on the asphalt. Don’t drive on the edges of your asphalt, either.

When you need commercial asphalt pavement repair, call SMI Paving. Our asphalt paving contractors can repave, resurface, and sealcoat your driveway. Call us today!