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​Summertime can feel hot enough to melt the pavement. With the summer sun causing the temperature to climb, the temperature of your asphalt can climb significantly higher, too. The dark surface absorbs the heat. Though not hot enough to melt, it will become softer and not as strong. Combat the top summer asphalt concerns with these five proactive maintenance and use strategies.

1. Sealcoat in the Summer

Sealcoating is like putting a coat of armor on your asphalt, protecting it from weather damage. It not only improves the appearance and function of the pavement; it lengthens its lifespan. Apply a new sealcoat every two to five years for the best results.

Your best defense against summertime damage is also best applied in the summer. Sealcoating bonds most effectively when applied to warm asphalt. Asphalt also must be dry before application, and summer tends to offer those hot, dry days.

2. Fix Cracks Right Away

Whether or not you have recently sealed your asphalt, you should regularly inspect your pavement for cracks and holes. Heat weakens the structure of the asphalt, and cracks can quickly increase and cause even more damage. If you seal cracks right away, you can avoid further wear and tear. You will also want to fix cracks before applying a new sealcoat if that is on your schedule for this year.

Make sure your asphalt is prepared for the storms of fall and winter by taking care of any cracks and potholes before ice and snow further the damage. A professional can quickly coat cracks now and increase the integrity and strength of your pavement.

3. Avoid Pavement Damage

Knowing that your asphalt is softer and weaker in the heat, protect it from warping and deformation by avoiding excess strain. Hot, heavy objects like semi-trailers, trucks, RVs, and boats can sink pits into and warp the underlying pavement. If you can, try not to park heavy equipment in the same locations for long periods.

You may be able to find a shaded or covered location as an alternative. Or, move vehicles every few days to new locations. Do not plan heavy construction during the heat of the day; instead, avoid driving industrial equipment on your hot asphalt whenever possible.

4. Cool Your Asphalt

You appreciate a nice cool drink or dip in the water on a hot day. So does your pavement. Cooling off your lot or drive with water is a great way to lessen these negative effects of summer heat. Consider running your sprinkler system to also aim over your pavement. You can plan runoff from your hose, water toys, or garden to spread over your pavement, as well.

As much as water is good for cooling your asphalt, avoid pooling water, as standing water can create sinking and potholes if left for too long. If you notice areas of puddles on the surface after summer storms or your watering activity, brush them off right away.

5. Enjoy Your Asphalt Safely

On a hot day, dry asphalt can obtain temperatures well over 100 degrees. Be careful if walking barefoot on asphalt. Be mindful of your dog's paw on asphalt as well, as it can burn them.

Asphalt, especially freshly laid or coated, is great summer fun for rollerblades, scooters, and other wheeled toys. You can combine the benefits of water for your asphalt with some fun for the kids and create cooled asphalt for chalk toys and roller fun.

To ensure both great appearance and function, inspect your asphalt yearly for summer maintenance issues. If you need any coating or repairs, contact Arrow Black Top & Masonry, Inc., right away.

5 Summertime Asphalt Maintenance And Use Strategies