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How April Showers Damage Asphalt Surfaces

Most of us have heard that “April showers bring May flowers.” But when it comes to asphalt surfaces, April showers bring something quite different. In fact, exposure to rainwater, misplaced irrigation and poor drainage are some of the biggest causes for asphalt damage. It’s inevitable that tiny cracks will form in your asphalt surface – it’s just the nature of pavement. And while you may think that this type of minor damage is no big deal, even the smallest crack can allow water to seep below the surface of the pavement. Once that happens, the cracks expand into larger ones and potholes form. Large cracks and potholes allow even more water to seep below the surface of the pavement, and that leads to damage of the sublayers of the pavement. When that happens, it can ultimately lead to destroying the asphalt altogether. And nobody wants to replace an asphalt surface unless it’s absolutely necessary. But that’s not all. Water can also cause the edges of pavement to erode, and once that erosion starts, it can quickly escalate.

Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to protect your asphalt from April showers – or rain at any other time of the year. Although the exact precautions may vary depending on the condition of your asphalt, here are some ways to prevent water damage from occurring:

  • Repair drainage issues – Make sure that water drains away from your asphalt properly. While the contractor that initially installed your pavement should have planned for adequate drainage by sloping the asphalt, there are steps you can take to improve the situation as well. Make sure that gutters and downspouts direct water away from your pavement.
  • Keep the surface clean – Here’s a DIY tip to protect your asphalt: keep it clean! Debris that is left on the surface of pavement collects and traps moisture. And anytime water sits on top of asphalt, it can quickly damage the surface.
  • Have repairs made promptly – Remember that even the smallest cracks in asphalt can allow water to enter the pavement. That leads to larger cracks and an increasing amount of damage. To prevent this from happening, ask your paving contractor to make repairs on an as-needed basis.
  • Sealcoating – Periodic application of a good quality sealcoat is an excellent way to protect against water damage.

For more information about how water can damage your asphalt surface, and to determine the best ways to maintain and protect your pavement, contact a local paving contractor today.