Asphalt Destruction 101: Top Reasons and How

Asphalt is one of the most durable and resilient paving materials. Its strength and cost-effectiveness make it the commonly used paving material in most places, including pavements, parking lots, and roads. However, despite its durability and resilience, asphalt is susceptible to destruction. Several factors can cause your asphalt paved surface to deteriorate because of some natural factors. 

Destruction and deterioration of asphalt paved surfaces are natural. And why is this? The materials used to make asphalt start to break down with time, which makes them susceptible to elements like sunlight, cold temperatures, rain, and chemicals. When these materials come into contact with the asphalt, the liquid binder, which acts as the glue of the surface starts to gradually lose its natural resistance to liquids.

At the end of the day, water starts to penetrate the base layer. Now, when this happens, the asphalt surface becomes exposed to different forms of deterioration. The cracks thus formed on the surface can be filled with the help of asphalt crack filling equipment. However, it’s important to note that asphalt destruction can also be caused by other factors, other than the normal wear and tear, thus causing premature destruction. In this post, we shall discuss the top reasons for asphalt destruction, and how to avoid it. Let’s delve in!

Extreme heat

Asphalt is very malleable, and this is what makes it the best paving material out there. However, this comes with one challenge—vulnerability to destruction because of extreme heat. Extreme heat can make asphalt soften, slough, pit, and ultimately deform—especially when exposed to heavy loads.

Besides, the malleability can also lead to bruising of asphalt surfaces, and this happens when vehicles turn their tire on a freshly-paved asphalt surface—creating marks that resemble bruises. Therefore, it’s essential to note that bruising happens mostly on newly paved surfaces during the summer season. However, it doesn’t cause any permanent damage—it’s just ugly.

Protecting asphalt from heat destruction

There’s little that you can do to prevent your asphalt pavement from heat destruction. One of the things that you should do is to avoid allowing vehicles to stay on one spot for long during the summer season. Besides, you must avoid objects and tools like car jacks that can dent or scratch your asphalt. If you have to use them, make sure that you place a wooden plank beneath the jack to protect the surface.

Besides, you should allow your asphalt to fully cure before driving on the newly paved surface. This is important, especially during the summer season—give your asphalt at least 24 hours before allowing any heavy traffic on it.

Extreme cold temperatures

The extreme cold temperatures experienced during the winter season can also damage an asphalt paved surface. The frequent freeze and thaw cycles can cause asphalt to become very soft and brittle. This makes the surface vulnerable to cracking and water damage from the melting snow. That’s why cracks and potholes are so common during the winter season.

Protecting asphalt from cold temperatures

The first defense against extreme cold temperatures is sealcoating. This ensures that the surface remains water-tight, thus preventing any water-related damages. Besides, it’s important to be extremely careful around your asphalt, particularly the edges, which are more vulnerable to chipping or breaking during cold temperatures. Besides, avoid using shovels to clear snow from your driveway because this increases the chances of damaging the surface. Also, deicing products pose a big threat to your asphalt. Rather, consider using a snowblower to remove snow from your asphalt pavement.

UV radiation

How can UV rays harm your asphalt? Sun causes oxidation to your asphalt, thus making it impossible for the asphalt to bind the aggregate together. However, it’s very easy to mitigate UV damage—schedule sealcoating with sealcoating contractors at ABC Paving every three years to protect your asphalt from UV radiation.

Chemical stains

Oil and gas leaks from parked vehicles can penetrate asphalt, thus ruining the top layers. Also, if you let the oil sit on your asphalt for long periods, it can become a big challenge to remove it.

Protecting your asphalt from chemical stains

If you notice that your car is leaking oil or gas, put an oil catch under the car. And, in case you don’t have the oil catch, park the car in different spots to minimize the damage. Also, when you notice oil stains on your asphalt, pour some cat litter over the stains, and leave them overnight to absorb the excess oil. Then use a dish detergent and stiff brush to clean the remaining oil. Never attempt to remove oil stains using citrus or solvent-based cleaning materials.


Groundwater poses a bigger threat to your asphalt—more than stagnant water. The biggest problem with groundwater is that it can displace both the asphalt and the base, thus causing cracks, pits, potholing, or collapsing asphalt.

Protecting asphalt from groundwater

Note that it’s hard to determine whether groundwater is the reason why your asphalt is deteriorating so fast. Therefore, if you cannot figure out any other reason why your asphalt is deteriorating, seek professional assistance from an asphalt contractor to check for groundwater problems. When you identify the problems, stop the source or readjust the drainage.

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