With summer winding down (ok sure we still have another couple of months of it but still) it’s about time to take a beat and inspect and maintain your asphalt to make sure it’s ready to handle the rest of the summer and the changing of the seasons! You stay on top of it and your asphalt will last you longer than you expect!
5-Step Summer Asphalt Maintenance
Step 1 – Inspecting Your Pavement
The first thing you need to do is take a good hard look at your asphalt. Look for any signs of damage, any breaks, cracks – you might even see bubbles! Spotting these early is crucial as any long-time readers know. Go slow, but surely to look for even the most minor problems and note them as you find them. That divot might not be a huge problem today, but next month it could be a crack!
Step 2 – Clean Your Asphalt
After you’ve thoroughly inspected your asphalt surfaces for any problem spots, it’s time to clean it! Use a broom first to clear away any debris that’s lingering about, clearing away any rocks, leaves, branches, you name it. Your asphalt should always be free and clear of, well anything! Even small rocks can cause trouble if a vehicle was to drive over them and drive them into the asphalt, damaging the surface.
Use a scrubber and a cleaner (we recommend Simple Green) to clear away any stains or build up on the asphalt. Make sure you don’t leave any water to pool!
Clear and clean your asphalt every couple of weeks, or as needed by your specific environment (if you have a lot of rocks or trees nearby you may need to clean more) to keep it in as best shape as possible.
Step 3 – Fill and Seal Cracks
Cracks are a common enough problem and when tackled earlier they can be handled by the property owner using simple crack fillers. During the first step of maintenance you noted any small damage or cracks in the asphalt, after cleaning the surface now is the time to get in there and repair them! This is the real asphalt maintenance work!
After the cracks have been filled and cured, get your asphalt sealcoated! It provides an additional layer of protector, a solid barrier between the asphalt surface and rain, UV rays, and whatever else might be blasting it day in and day out.
Step 4 – Clear Pooling Water
This may be step 4, but if you ever notice water pooling in your driveway make it step 1 to clear right away! Pooling water will deteriorate your asphalt surfaces, breaking down the layers of aggregate and binding and causing potholes to form. While it’s not something we often have to worry about in Arizona, the monsoon season sure pours enough water on us to be cautious.
Use a broom to clear the pooling water away and take a look at the surface beneath it. Why was it pooling? Is there an unevenness to your asphalt, a small depression you weren’t aware of? If so it’s time to get those fixed so that pooling is a problem of the past!
Step 5 – Rotate Your Parking Pattern
When the temperatures heat up, asphalt can become softer than usual. Parking vehicles or other heavy equipment on the asphalt for long can cause your asphalt to dent or develop depressions. This becomes a problem for pooling water as well as breaking down the asphalt completely, causing potholes.
Easiest way to avoid that is to switch up your usual parking routine! If on Monday you park on the left side of the drive, Tuesday park on the other. Park at angles. Whatever you can do so that the weight of your vehicles doesn’t constantly sit on any one point during the hot summer months.
If you have any other heavy objects on the surface, say a cinder block, or a trailer parked, make sure you’re moving them or otherwise making efforts to diffuse the weight. Sometimes laying a large flat board under the hitch of a trailer can help spread the weight over a larger area, which will prevent divots from developing.
The final, most crucial piece of summer asphalt maintenance? Getting the proper help, when you need it, right away! Don’t let larger cracks linger for long – instead, give Sunrise Asphalt a call today and get your local Tucson experts on the scene to repair your asphalt!