What Could Be Damaging Your Asphalt? | Las Vegas

What Could Be Damaging Your Asphalt? | Las Vegas, parking lot maintenanceBecause asphalt pavement is economical and durable, it has become an extremely popular choice for parking lots, city streets, major highways and a variety of other types of paving projects. Despite its potential longevity, however, asphalt pavement will eventually deteriorate. In fact, the process of deterioration begins as soon as the pavement is installed, A professionally administered program of proactive asphalt maintenance can help protect against the forces that can damage your pavement.

What Causes Asphalt Pavement to Deteriorate?


Asphalt pavement is primarily composed of sand and gravel or rocks. These materials are held together by an asphalt binder. This mixture is then applied on top of a stable foundation that gives the pavement its strength and flexibility. Basically, anything that breaks down the binder or destabilizes the foundation can result in damage to asphalt pavement.


1. As soon as asphalt pavement is exposed to air, the process of oxidation begins. The oxygen in the air affects asphalt at the molecular level, allowing molecules to move around and form new bonds with the aggregate materials. Over time, the pavement becomes stiff and brittle, making it easier for cracks to develop.

2. The sun emits ultraviolet radiation, more commonly known as UV rays. These UV rays accelerate oxidation, but they also rob asphalt pavement of both its moisture and its color. The pavement dries out and becomes even stiffer and more brittle. Cracks typically become larger and more widespread.

3. Contractors who perform parking lot line striping will tell you that they rarely find a pavement that does not contain a number of areas where vehicles have leaked fluids. Because asphalt is a petroleum distillate, it will try to recombine with other petrochemicals, including gasoline, oil, and most other automotive fluids. This leads to the development of soft, crumbly spots in the pavement that can easily develop into potholes or deep cracks.

4. Open cracks or other breaks in the surface of your pavement can allow moisture to reach the foundation. Although the Las Vegas area is not famous for its copious amounts of rain, there is sufficient precipitation to erode your pavement’s foundation. If the moisture is trapped beneath the pavement on one of the rare nights when the temperature falls below freezing, the foundation damage will be even more severe.

5. Once your asphalt pavement has suffered damage from oxidation, UV rays, foundation erosion and/or automotive fluids, it is more susceptible to damage from other sources. During the summer, hot tires on hot asphalt can pluck out pieces of the pavement. Heavy trucks can make existing cracks worse or cause new cracks to develop. Normal traffic passing over an area in which the foundation has become unstable can result in the formation of low spots in the pavement that are also weaker and more susceptible to cracking.


Is There a Way to Mitigate Damages to Asphalt Pavement?


The best way to protect your pavement is with professional asphalt maintenance. An effective maintenance program can help you avoid expensive repairs and obtain a longer service life from your pavement.


1. Asphalt pavements that receive proper sealcoating can last up to twice as long. Furthermore, any repairs are typically minor and very economical. Asphalt sealcoating contractors recommend an appropriate schedule that is based on the pavement’s age, use and overall condition. Most contractors sealcoating Las Vegas pavements recommend a fresh application at least every two years.

2. Whether you are responsible for planning street or parking lot maintenance, be sure to make crack repairs a priority. If ignored, cracks will almost always become deeper, longer and wider. Long before the pavement has reached its projected useful life, the cracks can become so extensive that it is more cost-effective to reconstruct the pavement.

3. Keep your pavement clean. Remove automotive fluids, trash and dirt promptly. Piles of trash can trap moisture on top of your pavement, and gritty dirt or sand can abrade your sealcoating, rendering it ineffective.


If you need an honest, dependable asphalt contractor, contact Affordable Striping & Sealing. We specialize in the maintenance and repair of asphalt pavements. Our services include sealcoating, pavement striping, asphalt crack sealing, pavement markings, road markings, traffic signs and parking lot design. We can tailor a parking lot maintenance program to your specific needs. We have excellent references and a reputation that is based on the quality of our work and our integrity. For a free quote, fill out the online form or call 702-222-9009.


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