How to Protect Your Parking Lot from Extreme Summer Heat

According to the scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), July 2023 was the hottest month ever recorded on the global temperature record*. As temperatures soar, businesses must not only contend with keeping their operations running smoothly but also safeguarding their physical infrastructure from the adverse effects of extreme summer heat. One often overlooked victim of scorching temperatures is parking lot asphalt. The intense heat can cause significant damage, leading to cracks, deterioration, and an unsightly appearance. In this blog, we’ll explore how the extreme summer heat can damage your parking lot asphalt and discuss the steps businesses need to take to prevent long-term damage from occurring.

The Impact of Extreme Summer Heat

Parking lot asphalt is designed to withstand a range of weather conditions, but prolonged exposure to extreme summer temperatures can
take a toll. There are many ways in which scorching temperatures can harm your parking lot:

  1. Fading and Bleaching: Intense UV rays from the sun can cause the surface of your asphalt parking lot to fade and bleach over time, resulting in a dull and unattractive appearance. This not only affects the aesthetics of your property but also reduces its overall curb appeal.
  2. Surface Cracking: As the asphalt heats up, it expands. When the temperature cools down in the evening or when water is introduced (such as from rain), the asphalt contracts. This continuous expansion and contraction can lead to surface cracks, which will continue to expand over time, allowing more and more moisture to seep into the pavement’s foundation, only leading to larger issues if not addressed promptly.
  3. Oxidation: Oxidation is a natural process in which the asphalt binder’s chemical structure breaks down due to exposure to oxygen and UV radiation. This can cause the asphalt to become brittle and more susceptible to cracking and deterioration.
  4. Raveling: High temperatures can soften the asphalt binder, making it more prone to being worn away by traffic. This phenomenon, known as raveling, results in the loss of fine aggregates from the asphalt surface, creating a rough and uneven texture.

Above: Pictured above are examples of some of the typical parking damage. 

Preventive Measures to Protect Your Parking Lot

Facility managers must stay vigilant when managing parking lot maintenance. Preventing the damaging effects of extreme summer heat requires a proactive approach. Here are five initiatives businesses can take to protect their parking lot asphalt from the excessive summer heat:

  1. Regular Sealcoating: Sealcoating forms a protective barrier over the asphalt, shielding it from UV rays, water, and other elements. Regular sealcoating not only enhances the appearance of your parking lot but also extends its lifespan by preventing oxidation and moisture infiltration.
  2. Crack Sealing: Addressing cracks promptly is essential to prevent them from growing larger and causing more significant damage. Crack sealing involves filling in cracks with specialized materials that prevent moisture from seeping in and causing further deterioration.
  3. Temperature Management: If possible, consider using lighter-colored asphalt or reflective coatings that can help reduce the surface temperature of the parking lot. This can mitigate the expansion and contraction that lead to cracks.
  4. Limit Heavy Loads: During hot summer months, heavy vehicles and equipment can exert additional stress on the softened asphalt. Try to limit heavy traffic or distribute the weight more evenly across the surface.
  5. Professional Maintenance and Repairs: Implement a routine maintenance plan that includes regular inspections of the parking lot’s condition. Catching minor issues early can prevent them from escalating into major problems. When damage occurs, it’s best to enlist the services of professionals to perform repairs. They have the expertise and proper equipment to ensure that repairs are done correctly and effectively.

PaveConnect Can Help You Put a Maintenance Plan Together for Your Parking Lot!


Facility managers must be vigilant when it comes to dealing with the challenges of extreme summer heat and protecting their parking lot asphalt should be a top priority. By understanding the potential damage caused by excessive summer temperatures and prudently planning preventive measures, businesses can extend the lifespan of their parking lots, saving on costly repairs down the road.

If you need assistance planning your parking lot’s maintenance and repairs, or have questions about what next steps you need to take, contact the professionals at PaveConnect. Our team can assist you in putting a maintenance plan in place and help extend the life of your parking lot!

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