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The Effects of Seasonal Weather on Asphalt: A Year-Round Guide


The words "The Effects of Seasonal Weather on Asphalt: A Year-Round Guide" overlaid on a black asphalt background.

If you've ever taken a moment to observe the roads you drive on, you'll notice they often bear the brunt of Mother Nature's moods. From the scorching heat of summer to the frosty chills and rain of winter, asphalt has to withstand varying challenges across the seasons. As a result, the care and maintenance needed for these roads vary throughout the year. Let's delve into how seasonal weather affects asphalt and what can be done to keep it in optimal condition.


How Asphalt Maintenance Changes With Seasonal Weather


Asphalt, while robust and durable, needs regular maintenance to ensure its longevity. The tasks and their frequency can significantly differ based on the season:


Warmer Months: These months are ideal for proactive measures like sealcoating, which acts as a protective layer against UV rays and oxidation.


Colder Months: Winter presents its own set of challenges, with ice and rain being the prime culprits. Ice removal, salting, and plowing become common tasks to ensure the road remains safe for vehicles.


With that overview, let's deep dive into each season.


Fall


Leaf It Clean: Fall brings with it a cascade of colorful leaves. While picturesque, these leaves can trap moisture, leading to potential pavement damage. Regular sweeping ensures that the asphalt remains dry and clean.


Crack Sealing: As temperatures begin to drop, it's an ideal time to seal any cracks. This prevents water from seeping in, which can freeze and expand in winter, worsening the cracks.


Winter


Ice Removal and Rain: It's crucial to clear off ice promptly. If rain is left to freeze or pool, it can exacerbate cracks and potholes.


Avoid Pooling: While it is ok to let rain hit the asphalt, it is important that your asphalt has proper drainage and that water doesn’t refreeze and expand in any unsealed cracks.


Spring


Thorough Inspection: After winter's onslaught, spring is the time for a detailed inspection. Look for cracks, potholes, or any signs of wear and tear to plan your repair strategy.


Pothole Repairs: The freeze-thaw cycles of winter can lead to potholes. Spring provides an excellent window to fill and fix these nuisances.


Summer


Sealcoating: The prolonged sunlight and heat can cause asphalt to become brittle. Sealcoating in summer provides a shield against UV rays, while also giving the pavement a fresh, dark finish.


Regular Cleaning: Summer can lead to oil and grease stains, especially in high traffic areas. Regular cleaning ensures that these contaminants don't deteriorate the asphalt quality.


Conclusion


Asphalt, like any other material, responds to the changes of nature. By understanding the challenges each season presents and adapting our maintenance strategies accordingly, we can ensure that our roads remain smooth, safe, and durable throughout the year. The next time you're on the road, rain or shine, remember the care that goes into preserving that asphalt. Contact the experts at Central Coast Paving any time of the year for your seasonal pavement maintenance needs at (805) 665-3292.

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