Winter can be very hard on a concrete or asphalt surface, given the extreme temperatures, freezing, and often harsh chemical use. But did you know that warming weather can also be very damaging to asphalt and concrete? Here are some things to watch for as the weather warms up, and what you can do it help protect your surface investment.
Spring Rain and Cracks
In our region, spring usually means rainy weather. This additional moisture can cause problems for both asphalt and concrete surfaces. The most immediate problem is that cracks allow for water to seep deep into the substrate, causing cavitation issues, leading to failure of the surface area.
The best possible protection you can have from rain is to seal the crack and otherwise repair the damage as it appears. This stops the destructive action at the surface and keeps the water at bay. Hopefully, your asphalt and concrete surfaces were initially designed and built with proper drainage. If so, keeping the rain out of the cracks will allow it to quickly run off the surface without any further damage.
Wet Soil Expansion
When the rains do come, they can cause the surrounding soil to swell and exert pressure on a prepared surface. This can cause the surface to buckle and crack, creating even more issues from cracks as well as introducing structure weaknesses that can cause entire areas to fail.
The single most important course of action to take in this case is to make sure that you have proper drainage. Water that flows away from a constructed surface and its underlayment cannot do any harm. Check to make sure that there have been no changes to the surrounding areas, and clear out any drainage paths that could have become blocked since last summer.
Dry Soil Contraction
Warming weather can also mean dry weather, sometimes turning quickly. Substrate soil that becomes too dry will shrink, creating land movement. This, in turn, will cause the same issues as soil expansion, albeit in the opposite direction. Unfortunately, the damage is just as severe.
The best solution here is to avoid wet soil expansion in the first place since only moisture expanded soil will contract dramatically. Check to make sure that drainage is correct, and look for any changes in the area.
While winter weather tends to get the most attention when it comes to preparing your asphalt and concrete surfaces, warming weather should not be overlooked for its impact as well. With the right materials, techniques, and knowledge, you can keep your surfaces in serviceable condition for many years to come.
Contact us today to see how we can help with your concrete and asphalt needs.