The Impact of Weather on Asphalt Cracks and How to Mitigate It

Weather and Asphalt

Asphalt is a commonly used material for paving roads, driveways, and parking lots. It provides a smooth and durable surface that can withstand heavy traffic and harsh weather conditions. However, over time, asphalt can develop cracks due to a variety of factors, including weather.

Weather plays a significant role in the deterioration of asphalt. Extreme temperatures, precipitation, and UV rays can all contribute to the formation and expansion of cracks. Understanding how weather affects asphalt can help you take proactive measures to mitigate the damage and prolong the life of your pavement.

Hot and Cold Temperatures

Extreme temperatures, both hot and cold, can cause asphalt to expand and contract. This constant movement puts stress on the pavement, leading to cracks. In hot weather, the asphalt can soften and become more susceptible to deformation. The expansion and contraction caused by temperature fluctuations can weaken the asphalt and result in cracks.

To prevent temperature-related damage, it is crucial to choose the right type of asphalt for your climate. In regions with hot summers, a high-temperature mix is recommended, while in colder climates, a low-temperature mix is more suitable. Proper installation techniques, such as compacting the asphalt at the appropriate temperature, can also minimize the risk of cracking.

Precipitation and Drainage

Rain, snow, and ice can all have a detrimental impact on asphalt surfaces. Water seeps into the small cracks and pores of the pavement, weakening its structure. When the water freezes, it expands and further damages the asphalt, leading to larger cracks and potholes.

To mitigate the damage caused by precipitation, proper drainage is essential. Maintaining a slope or crown on the pavement can ensure that water flows away from the surface. Regularly cleaning and maintaining the drainage systems, such as gutters and catch basins, can also prevent water from accumulating on the asphalt.

UV Rays and Oxidation

UV rays from the sun can break down the chemical bonds in asphalt, causing it to become brittle and prone to cracking. This process, known as oxidation, is more prevalent in warmer climates. Over time, the UV rays can cause the surface of the asphalt to fade, become rough, and develop cracks.

Applying a sealcoat to the asphalt surface can protect it from the harmful effects of UV rays. A sealcoat acts as a barrier, preventing the sun’s rays from directly impacting the asphalt. Regular sealcoating can extend the lifespan of the pavement and minimize the formation of cracks. Additionally, it is essential to keep the asphalt clean and free from debris, which can also accelerate the oxidation process.

Maintenance and Repair

Regular maintenance and timely repairs are crucial in preventing small cracks from turning into more significant issues. Inspect your asphalt surfaces regularly and address any cracks or potholes promptly. Ignoring minor damage can lead to more extensive and costly repairs down the line.

In colder climates, it is important to remove snow and ice from the surface promptly. The freeze-thaw cycle can accelerate the formation of cracks, so keeping the pavement clear of snow can minimize the risk of damage.

When repairing cracks, it is essential to use the right materials and techniques. Clean the cracks thoroughly and fill them with a hot rubberized crack sealant. This will help prevent water from seeping into the cracks and causing further damage. In some cases, larger cracks or potholes may require patching or resurfacing to ensure the structural integrity of the pavement.


Weather can have a significant impact on the development and expansion of cracks in asphalt surfaces. Understanding the effects of temperature, precipitation, and UV rays can help you take proactive measures to mitigate the damage. Proper installation, maintenance, and timely repairs are key to prolonging the life of your asphalt pavement and minimizing the risk of costly repairs. We’re always working to provide a complete educational experience. For this reason, we suggest this external source containing supplementary details on the topic. asphalt crack sealer, immerse yourself further in the subject!

By choosing the right type of asphalt for your climate, ensuring proper drainage, applying sealcoating, and addressing cracks promptly, you can protect your asphalt surfaces and maintain their durability and appearance for years to come.

Access the related links below to learn more about the topic discussed:

Explore this detailed article

Explore this educational material

The Impact of Weather on Asphalt Cracks and How to Mitigate It 2

Examine this helpful guide