How To Protect Your Asphalt Driveway From Sun Damage

Posted on: 14 September 2017

If you have recently had an asphalt driveway installed on your property, then you may understand that there are a few things that can cause damage to the surface. Extreme amounts of pressure, ice, and the sun can cause damage. You may not know this, but heat can cause damage as well. If you have been experiencing summers in your area with temperatures that reach up into the triple digits, then it may be time to learn how to protect your driveway from heat damage issues.

Understanding Heat And Asphalt

Before you learn about the ways that you can reduce heat damage, you should understand why heat is an issue in the first place. If you have ever worn a black t-shirt in the hot summer sun, then you surely know that dark colors absorb the sun's rays. Specifically, black absorbs all the wavelengths of light that are emitted from the sun, and this light it transformed into heat. So, the black item, whether it is a cotton t-shirt or an asphalt driveway will become quite warm. The longer it is exposed to the sun, then warmer it gets and the more heat is released.

Not only is asphalt black, but it contains an oil-based product called bitumen that is an excellent thermal conductor. When this oil becomes hot, it becomes less viscous, which means that it is much more pliable and fluid. This creates a soft surface over the top of your asphalt driveway. 

Keeping Heavy Objects Off The Driveway

Asphalt is a flexible and pliable material and this is one reason why it can remain solid as the ground shifts underneath your driveway. However, the pliability and the thermal conduction of the bitumen can be a disadvantage when the weather is extremely warm and when it remains hot for some time. Simply put, the asphalt will soften and become more pliable than normal. This means that objects that place a great deal of weight on the driveway can cause divots, indentations, and chips to form in the surface.

Make sure to keep heavy machinery, RVs, and commercial trucks off from the hot and pliable asphalt surface. If you need to change a tire or work on your vehicle, then you should also keep jack stands off the asphalt. These stands concentrate weight, pressure, and stress, on a smaller area of the asphalt, and this can cause a localized sinking issue. 

When it comes to mechanic work and your driveway, you should also keep all vehicle oils and fluids away from the asphalt material. Oils will mix with the bitumen and will create a higher concentration of fluid material in the area of the spill. This can cause the asphalt to soften even more. 

Invest In A Sealing

The sun can cause a significant oxidation issue where the asphalt deteriorates and starts to crack due to the thermal radiation of the sun. While cracks will develop to some degree as your driveway ages, you can prevent the majority of cracks by investing in an asphalt sealing. This sealer will create a protective coating over the asphalt. The coating, made from coal tar, asphalt, or acrylic materials,  will absorb the majority of the sun's rays to prevent damage to the asphalt underneath.

You should know that a sealer can only be added to your driveway after it has aged about six months. Over time, you should invest in a sealing about once every three years

If you want to know more about the types of things you should and should not do to maintain your asphalt driveway during the hottest days of the year, make sure to speak with your installation professional


Protecting My New Driveway

I worked hard for years to make my home and yard look incredible, which is why I started thinking about replacing my driveway. After having the entire driveway replaced, I really felt great about the difference that it had made. My yard looked new and beautiful, so I knew I had to do what I could to protect it. I started focusing carefully on doing everything I could not to let the space become damaged, and I was really impressed with how much of a difference it made. This blog is all about protecting my driveway and making things right. Check it out!