How Summer Heat Affects My Parking Lot
The summer sun beats down on everything, including parking lots. The asphalt is just no match for the sun’s brutal rays, and without proper care, the summer heat will eventually destroy it. Just some of the problems you may experience during hotter months include:
One of the most common asphalt problems due to heat are cracks, which eventually turn into potholes. Cracking is more prominent on older surfaces, but even new asphalt can fall victim to cracking with prolonged heat exposure. Sealcoating on schedule is the best way to prevent cracks from forming. Once the crack starts and water begins to seep in, you’ve got an inevitable pothole on the way.
Water seeps into the cracks in asphalt and erodes the subsurface. This causes air gaps between the top layer and the ground. When pressure is applied to these areas, the asphalt caves and a pothole is created. If a crack in the asphalt stays wet all the time, mold and mildew can also form.
Even though asphalt is made to withstand very high temperatures, extremely hot days can cause what is known as tracking. Have you ever looked at the bottom of your shoe after walking across hot asphalt and noticed small black specks? That’s tracking. Tracking occurs when the asphalt gets so hot that it softens and small flakes come off. This can also happen if curing new asphalt is delayed by hot and humid conditions.
Painting parking lines on your lot can be quite expensive and very time-consuming. Not to mention there’s no room for error; one wrong measurement and you may have to repaint the entire section! Extended exposure to sunlight can fade the paint lines, especially as it continues to get hotter.
It’s no secret that asphalt gets hot in the summertime, but is it possible to burn someone? With rising temperatures and heat waves like those we’ve recently experienced here in Seattle, the possibility of being burned by asphalt is greater than ever. When temperatures outside exceed 95°F, burn centers see an influx of hot surface burn cases. On the hottest days, asphalt can reach a scorching 180°F! This is why it’s so important to use asphalt with a high solar reflectance index (SRI).
Using high-quality asphalt and sticking to a maintenance schedule can prevent these summer heat issues with your parking lot. Keep your customers happy and safe with a freshly poured asphalt lot from Jireh Construction Services. Ask us about our asphalt maintenance services such as seal coating and line painting. We’ll help you keep your parking lot in great shape for years to come!