There are a variety of factors that can affect the strength and lifespan of your asphalt. At Bortolo and Sons, we only use the highest quality materials for our projects, but even though this is the case, the natural elements such as water and sunlight can cause it to break down over time. The following are the most common asphalt enemies out there.

Standing Water

No matter if it’s rainwater, sprinkler water, or well water, water that comes into contact with asphalt for long periods of time can cause damage and fading. If there are any cracks or holes in the asphalt, this will create areas of standing water and the water breaks down the chemicals in asphalt, which causes it to become weaker. Once it weakens, it can make the cracks or holes worse, and encourage the formation of potholes.

Heavy Vehicles

Have you ever driven over bumpy asphalt roads that are littered with cracks and divots? This is because you are probably driving across a road where heavy vehicles like tractor trailers frequent. Asphalt is only designed to handle a certain weight, but anything over that point can cause damage. When heavy vehicles continuously drive over the same spots, the weight will cause the asphalt to flex and bend more than it should and will eventually lead to ruts and cracks.

UV Radiation

We are all aware of how harmful UV rays can be for our skin, but what about our asphalt? Asphalt that is exposed to constant sun will start to turn grey and age much faster than areas in the shade. UV rays cause oxidation of the tar in asphalt and they will eventually cause it to weaken and break down. Once this starts to occur, there will not be enough tar to hold the aggregate together and then you will end up with just gravel.

Tree Roots

Asphalt located near big trees is in danger of becoming damaged due to the growth of the tree roots. Tree roots are incredibly strong, and can extend up to 70 feet from their trunk searching for water. If there is a section of asphalt next to a large tree, the roots can end up growing underneath. Once this happens, the roots can shift the pavement and create cracks or bumps.

Motor Oil

If you have an oil leak in your vehicle that you haven’t fixed for a while, try not to always park on the same spot on your asphalt if you can. When this motor oil sits on top of the same patch of asphalt, it begins to break it down. As it does so, the asphalt becomes more susceptible to cracks and crumbling, and this can lead to more severe damage.

To learn more about asphalt or if you need new asphalt installed, contact Bortolo and Sons today.