Proper asphalt maintenance is key to extending the lifespan of asphalt in The Sunshine State. Let Tucker Paving explain why.
Asphalt is a versatile option for paving roads, parking lots, walkways, and more. With proper maintenance, it can have quite a long lifespan. The term “proper maintenance” is important here, as is the construction and makeup of the asphalt in question. Explore the lifespan of asphalt in Florida and how proper maintenance can extend it considerably.
Florida’s Asphalt Lifespan
Florida’s intense sunlight and high amounts of rainfall are hard on the components that go into asphalt. Made of a mixture of stone aggregate and a petroleum-based asphalt, also called binder, asphalt pavement is mostly impervious to water. However, asphalt’s topmost layer, called the cap, contains a compound called maltenes that oxidize and break down eventually due to elements like traffic, fluid spills, and weather. With the breakdown of maltenes comes faded, cracked, and aged asphalt.
How well asphalt is maintained to protect the maltenes determines the life lifespan of asphalt pavement. Without proper maintenance, typical asphalt pavement in Florida lasts about 10 to 15 years. However, with proper maintenance, asphalt pavement can last 25 years or more!
Factors that also affect the lifespan of asphalt in Florida beyond maintenance include what materials the base of the asphalt pavement is made of, the presence of concrete curbing, the placement of guttering, other drainage issues, and the amount and type of traffic the pavement experiences.
Issues like cracks and breaks in the asphalt cap that are not fixed in a timely manner will severely shorten the lifespan of asphalt. Water can get through cracks and breaks in the asphalt cap, piercing the pavement’s sub-base and causing other issues with the asphalt pavement that cannot be seen at first glance. Proper and timely maintenance of asphalt pavements ensures that small, naturally occurring issues like cracks and cap breakdown don’t become larger, more expensive problems down the line.