Asphalt and Heat: How to Manage It

Summer heat is hard on your asphalt paving. Asphalt in the heat in Saratoga Springs, NY can crack, ravel and oxidize, which compromises the structure and appearance of your driveway, parking lot or other paved area. Fortunately, while this may sound hopeless and unmanageable, there are ways to control damage and keep your asphalt looking new. Here are five ways to go about this:

  • Build a carport: There is only one thing worse than overheated asphalt, and that’s a car that turns into a sauna. If you park in your driveway regularly or have frequent visitors, installing a carport over your driveway could be a good solution. Your asphalt is shaded from the direct sunlight, and in winter you will also have less ice to scrape off your windshield. This is often the best solution if the front of your house gets the most sun and your asphalt is constantly exposed.
  • Sealcoat on schedule: The only major maintenance required for asphalt is sealcoating. You normally have to complete this every few years, although a rough winter or especially hot summer could demand it sooner. Sealcoating can prevent heat damage in some cases, or at the very least minimize it. Do not overlook this maintenance requirement and you may avoid the worst summer presents to your asphalt.
  • Choose asphalt with a high SRI: SRI stands for “solar reflectance index,” and it measures how well asphalt reflects solar heat and avoids temperature. Asphalt with low SRI absorbs more heat and can sustain more damage from it. If you choose a variety with a high SRI rating, you will have less to dread from summer. There are some cases where a home faces just the wrong way and concrete ends up being the best option because it always has a high SRI. That’s why it’s important to choose wisely when it comes to considering materials for a driveway.
  • Repair as you see damage: Asphalt may crack easily in high heat. but it’s also easy to repair. As you see cracks and other damage, fill them. This will extend its lifespan and reinforce its strength as summer only becomes hotter. If you notice serious damage that goes beyond your surface repair abilities, call an asphalt contractor. It will always be less expensive to address damage now than wait for it to become worse.
  • Keep it clean: Sharp tools and debris will only make a heated situation worse! Besides addressing damage, clean up spills and avoid using sharp tools on your driveway. Make sure your sprinklers water the lawn more than your driveway, and fix any issues that cause water to pool. Besides removing additional threats, this also keeps debris from becoming a permanent addition when asphalt softens and makes dirt and leaves stick to it. Sweeping and gentle hosing with water is usually enough to keep asphalt clean.

Asphalt Industries, LLC is here to help your asphalt survive in the summer heat in Saratoga Springs, NY. Contact us today if you require repairs to your driveway or other paved area.

Read More