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How Weather in Different Seasons Impacts Asphalt Roadways

Roadways may seem indestructible, but the fact is that weather takes a real toll on paved surfaces. If you’re responsible for having maintenance and repair work done on a roadway, it’s helpful to understand how weather impacts the surface so you’ll know what to expect during different times of the year.

  • Summer: During the summer months, the hot temperatures and UV rays of the sun can cause asphalt roadways to oxidize. This can result in the surface becoming brittle and more susceptible to cracking. You can usually tell when oxidation is taking place because the black color of the asphalt will begin to fade.
  • Fall: When cooler weather arrives in fall, the chance of the roadway oxidizing diminishes, but the rain that often comes during the autumn months can also take a toll on the surface. Still, fall is often an excellent time to have repairs and seal coating done on the pavement since temperatures are typically less severe than other times of year.
  • Winter: Even in warmer climates, winter weather is usually hard on paved surfaces. Virtually every state is likely to experience at least occasional freezing weather in the winter. The freeze/thaw cycle that occurs during this time of year can make asphalt expand and contract, and that can lead to cracks, potholes, and even crumbling along the edges of the pavement.
  • Spring: Just as is true during the fall months, spring rains can create significant damage to roadways. Any cracks that form as a result of the freeze/thaw cycle during the winter months can leave behind cracks in the pavement, and those cracks can allow rainfall to penetrate the surface, often weakening the sub-layer and compromising the integrity of the roadway. It’s important to have damaged roads repaired in the spring to prevent this from happening.

If you’re thinking that it seems as though every season of the year presents a challenge for roadways, you would be right! The truth is that maintaining pavement and making sure that roadways last for as long as possible is a year-round job. Fortunately, a professional paving company can help. When you contact a reputable, local paving contractor, they can recommend the best schedule for when repairs and seal coating should be done depending on the age of the roadway and the climate where you live. The changing weather of each season is hard on paved surfaces without a doubt, but with the help of a paving professional, you can keep your roadway in tip-top shape for years to come.
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