As soon as asphalt is installed, the elements begin destroying your investment. The sun dries out the surface causing it to lose essential binding agents. Fresh asphalt with all its binders and oils is flexible allowing it to move with the weight of traffic. Once the oils and binders begin to break down from exposure, the asphalt will lose flexibility resulting in surface cracks and raveling which will allow for worse damage to be created by one of the main asphalt destroyers….water.
Water is one of the most damaging elements to your asphalt surface. When frozen, water expands in volume and becomes one of the strongest forces in nature. The problem with water collecting in the pores and cracks of asphalt is that the surface freezes first, forcing the ice to move downward. This in turn, will cause deep cracking of the asphalt down to the gravel base which will soften and damage the integrity of the base leading to further deterioration of the asphalt surface. If water is continually allowed to penetrate the surface of the asphalt, the effect of the freeze/thaw cycle will destroy the asphalt in a short period of time.
Salts and oils are also highly corrosive to asphalt. Asphalt is an oil based product so oil spills and drips from vehicles is absorbed into the asphalt resulting in the surface softening and deteriorating. This is very common in areas such as parking stalls of a busy parking lot.
Needless to say, asphalt is a big investment and we want to get the most life out of it. Beginning an asphalt maintenance plan in the early life of your asphalt will allow that to happen. We recommend seal coat 1 year and no later than 3 years after installation and no sooner! This is very important as the oils on the surface will not allow the sealer to adhere to the surface properly which can result in big headaches down the road. The average life expectancy of asphalt in the Wisconsin area is approximately 25 to 35 years but varies depending on asphalt quality, external elements and asphalt maintenance. The oils in asphalt are bio-degradable to over time they naturally break down, this is the process we want to stop. So call now to seal your asphalts future!