4 Main Factors that Break Down Asphalt

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4 Major Factors that Break Down Asphalt

Atrophy is a way of life in parking lot pavement, but preventive maintenance can slow the process considerably. A parking lot is a lot like the cars that drive on them: from the first day onward, it depreciates. Asphalt doesn’t usually enjoy a long life, but a well-designed, well-built asphalt parking lot can continue to perform for 25 years or more if it is well maintained. It matters how experienced the paving company is that performs the initial asphalt construction as well as the maintenance. To better understand what causes the deterioration of asphalt pavement, let’s take a look at the main factors that break it down over time.

4 Major Factors that break down Asphalt Pavement


The weight of heavy trucks on asphalt can negatively impact your asphalt pavement. Heavy vehicles like delivery trucks, increase rutting and pavement deterioration along wheel paths. This can substantially decrease the durability and lifespan of certain areas of a parking lot. Damage is more prevalent in areas where heavy vehicles are driving slowly, where they stop or slow down, and lastly, where heavy vehicles may be parked.


Asphalt damage can occur from dust and debris that makes their way into cracks in the asphalt’s surface. As this happens, plant seeds fall into these spaces causing grass, weeds and other plants to sprout. The weeds from these plants can crawl underneath the asphalt’s foundation, weakening it and causing even more cracks on the surface. Trees are a common issue for asphalt as their roots are extremely long. If you plan on planting a tree, you might want to think twice about planting one in or near your parking lot. As the tree grows, and its roots extend, the roots can push against the foundation of your parking lot, causing damage to the asphalt over time.


Regardless of if it’s rain water or ponding water from a clogged drain, water settling on the top of roads can wear on the asphalt and cause initial cracks, that when left untreated, will result in potholes and other depressions in the asphalt. If water sinks into already formed cracks, it can cause further damage in the base layer.


UV rays from the sun oxidize the oil within the asphalt’s mixture, causing it to break down, becoming more ridged and brittle. Combined with ongoing heavy traffic, will overtime cause cracking of the asphalt’s surface, allowing water to seep into the base layers.   

PaveConnect can help you assess the condition of your parking lot and help you create a plan to extend its life.

Contact Us today to discuss how together we can create a Maintenance Plan for Your Parking lot!

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