February 20 2019 0Comment

How Erosion Affects Asphalt Paving

How Erosion Affects Asphalt

Asphalt is bound to erode in due time, regardless of its location or the quality of material used. Those who are proactive and maintain their asphalt will enjoy a surface with a longer useful life. Everything from the pressure of vehicles to fluctuations in temperature, the sun’s ultraviolet rays, and moisture will increase the rate at which erosion affects asphalt. In fact, all it takes is an automobile parked in the same spot for an extended period of time to cause asphalt to subside around the tires, making the base uneven.

When erosion affects asphalt, cracking occurs, potholes form, the sun fades the surface hue, and repair/maintenance become that much more important.

How Rainwater and Other Sources of Moisture Erode Asphalt Paving

Water from any source has the potential to ruin your asphalt paving. Asphalt does not completely absorb rain droplets or water. Water from rain, floods, and other sources hits the asphalt pavement, causing the bitumen to harden and erosion to occur. This erosion harms the asphalt aggregates. Moisture ramps up surface erosion deepen already-existing cracks with additional erosion and even compromises the asphalt below the surface. If the sub-layer softens due to moisture exposure, the asphalt surface is that much more likely to crack when subjected to pressure from a vehicle above.

How to Prevent Moisture From Compromising Your Asphalt

Sealcoating is the best line of defense against rainwater, water from flooding, storms and other sources of moisture. Industry experts insist a sealcoating performed once every two years has the potential to decrease the oxidation rate by upwards of 75 percent. However, it is imperative the sealcoating is added within the first couple of years after the pavement is installed. Once asphalt is eroded or oxidized, asphalt sealcoating will not enhance its flexibility so it is important to be proactive instead of reactive.

Erosion Affects Asphalt: Oxidation

Oxidation is an unfortunate fact of life for business owners. The process of oxidation commences as soon as asphalt is added to your property. Asphalt is subjected to oxygen, causing molecular processes to occur that create new bonding sites. The uptick in bonding sites lets molecules travel in order to locate bonds that allow for an equilibrium. Asphalt molecules gradually tighten with the asphalt aggregate. The pavement stiffens that much more, proving increasingly fragile as time progresses. Oxidation is influenced by everything from the temperature to the amount of oxygen that comes into contact with the asphalt and an array of other factors.

Why Oxidation Matters

Oxidation is critically important as it contributes to the gradual weakening and eroding of asphalt. If your asphalt parking lot becomes brittle and loses its flexibility, it is that much more inclined to crack when exposed to pressure. Oxidation gradually causes the pavement color to change, making it look more grey with each passing day. Cracks form during this process followed by failure and the need for extensive repairs or a full replacement.

Oxidation ultimately reduces the capability of asphalt to handle large loads. The asphalt gradually fatigues to the point that cracks, potholes, and undulations develop. The data shows asphalt with significant oxidation is that much more likely to fail than asphalt with comparably low oxidation.

Contact PLS Today To Learn How Erosion Affects Asphalt

Whether you are worried about erosion, oxidation, need basic maintenance, asphalt patching and repair or an asphalt sealcoating in Tampa, PLS is here to help. Call us at (813) 880-9100 to schedule an evaluation of your parking lot today.