Weather can have a huge impact on your asphalt pavement, especially in an area as prone to extremes as Austin, TX. Every season actually presents unique challenges for pavement, from excessive heat, to cold and bad storms. The weather can contribute a great deal to your pavement’s repair needs. To stay on top of maintenance, you should know what to expect throughout the year.
In winter, frigid temperatures provide the greatest threat to pavement. Asphalt tries to contract as temperatures fall, and its rigidity will cause cracks to form as it releases stress. Water trapped beneath or within your asphalt can also expand as it freezes to create damage and a phenomenon called frost heave.
In colder areas, the melting of compacted snow can create a great deal of moisture both above and below pavement. Excessive spring showers can also threaten pavement with the degrading effects of water. Without proper drainage, standing pools can deteriorate your asphalt from the top down, while water that has found its way into your substrate will work in the opposite direction.
In the summer, UV radiation and oxidation combine to wear out your asphalt’s appearance and make it more susceptible to cracks. Extreme heat can also soften and melt asphalt, a phenomenon that requires professional service to repair.
Fall, like spring, brings with it the increased chance for rainfall. To protect your asphalt from the effects of water, you should ensure its proper grading. This allows the asphalt to naturally drain water off its surface, an indispensable function for its prolonged life.