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Four Ways to Protect your Asphalt from Summertime UV Damage

Georgia has a high Ultra-Violet index meaning that sun rays hit the surface of cement and asphalt most of the year. The average daily UV index rating for July is 8 to 10, which is very high. This shows up as a red on most charts that monitor the UV’s. This can create problems during the hottest days of summer for asphalt parking areas and streets.Sunflower

There are several ways to seal the asphalt in a driveway or parking area that will protect it from intense UV rays that can cause crack lines. (It’s similar to applying sun block on your skin.) You do not want the surface to dry out or crack. This can allow water to seep in under the
asphalt and lead to more surface fractures. A good sealer will protect against pitting and cracking that can require a completely new surface.

To begin with, the surface of the asphalt must always stay clean. Rocks, pebbles, leafs, twigs and dirt should be removed. The surface can be pressure washed to get rid of this residue along with oil and fuel drips. The surface must be cleaned before sealing.

Basic seal coats

A basic sealing coat should be applied to the asphalt area once a year before the intense heat of the summer. This overlay coating has anti-oxidants that will make it impervious to water damage and pitting from rock pebbles. It will work with the high average July UV rating.

Slurry sealers

This is a heavier seal coating that contains more aggregate. It will smooth out bumpy areas while it seals any cracks or fine lines that may have developed with continued use. This sealer is good for traffic areas that get heavy trucks that can ultimately cause fissures. A slurry seal requires 24 hours to completely dry and cure.

Microsurfacing

This sealer sets up quickly. It contains more polymer and aggregate along with more asphalt residue in a slurry mix. It can last longer than a plain slurry sealer. The cold mix expansion product contains fast setting chemicals and the best aggregate compound.

Microsurfacing was developed in Germany to resurface the Autobahn that was continually torn up with wheel ruts from heavy, high-speed traffic. This product is a more expensive than other slurry sealers but it may be the better value based on your traffic patterns.

Tire rubber modified surface sealer

This is known as TRMSS, a rubberized sealer. The sealer replaces oils that have dried out in the asphalt along with aggregate needed to cover the surface. This is a more intense sealing procedure used for surface streets, airport runways and other areas with continual heavy traffic.

The type of sealer you decide to use will depend on the size of the area and the amount of traffic. Surface streets, highways and parking areas receive the most wear and tear from vehicles. Large parking lots exposed to the sun in shopping areas experience wear from every type of vehicle from shopping carts to delivery trucks. 

Dykes Paving and Construction Company has served the Greater Atlanta area since 1968 with professional surfacing crews. It is one of the largest producers of recycled aggregates in the area for private surfacing and sealing. Contact us today for a quote to save your concrete from Atlanta’s hot summers.