The sun is a massive ball of gas that generates heat, light, and energy. And while it fills us with warmth during the day, exposure to intense solar radiation can affect asphalt surfaces in ways that are not so positive.
While asphalt is coated with special additives that protect it from UV exposure, these protective barriers will be worn off with time. When the coating wears away, exposure to intense sunlight will have specific effects on untreated asphalt driveways.
Surface Solutions will help you look at what those effects are and how you can prevent them or fix them if they happen anyway.
Loss of Flexibility and Potholes Formation
Sun rays are harmful to asphalt as they break down the tiny particles that bind asphalt together, making it more susceptible to cracking and breaking apart. The effects may not be visible overnight, but the driveway will become less flexible and more likely to develop potholes over time.
Prevention: Gravel base under asphalt layer and proper project planning.
Loss of Aesthetics & Discoloration
Sun rays can cause color pigmentation for black or grey asphalt surfaces. Over time, the surface will lose its color and start looking faded. As a result, your once beautiful black asphalt driveway will look like a gray slab with no shine at all!
Prevention: Ensure that sealcoating is done every 2-3 years or as needed.
Sun Rays & Altered Surface
The heat generated by sun rays can cause certain parts of your asphalt driveway to expand and contract at different rates. Eventually, this causes the surface to become uneven, leading to cracks and potholes formation.
Prevention: Seal your asphalt driveway every two years.
Discoloration & Degradation of Bitumen
As if the discoloration is not enough, sun exposure can also lead to bitumen degradation, causing it to lose its ability of adhesion to aggregate (rocks/gravel). This process may vary depending on various factors like material used, type of sealer applied, local weather conditions, etc.
Prevention: Ensure that your asphalt driveway gets sealed every two years or as needed and use high-quality bitumen.
Internal Damage to the Asphalt Surface
Exposure of your asphalt driveway to UV rays can lead to oxidation that can cause internal damage to the material. This is one of the leading causes behind fading and loss of sheen, which makes it look unattractive and weakens its ability to support the weight.
Prevention: Seal your asphalt driveway every two years or as needed to prevent these harmful effects and look after its external and internal integrity.