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The Top 5 Reasons Why Asphalt Goes Gray And What You Can Do About It

If you’ve ever driven down a road and noticed that the asphalt has turned into a light gray color, you’re not alone. This is a common issue that many people ask about, and it’s one that Scorpion Construction LLC in Clearwater, FL, is here to answer.

Today, we will talk about the top five reasons why asphalt goes gray and what can be done about it. Keep reading for more information!

UV Rays

The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can cause asphalt to fade and turn gray over time. Gray pavement can be prevented by adding a protective seal coat every two to three years.

Shrinkage And Cracking

Asphalt can shrink due to temperature changes and crack when it’s dried out, which also causes gray pavement. The material can become very hard and brittle as it ages, especially when exposed to the sun. Sealcoating helps protect against this issue since it adds an extra layer of protection from the elements such as UV rays.

Oil And Gasoline Spills

If there are any oil or gasoline spills on the pavement, they can gradually seep into the surface and discolor it. The discoloration caused by oil and gasoline is difficult to remove since it’s impossible to cover up with another asphalt layer.

Wear And Tear

Asphalt can fade over time as well due to wear and tear from heavy traffic or bad weather. Gray pavement is especially common in areas where there are a lot of cars driving by on the street.

Salt and De-icing Solutions

One of the most common causes of asphalt pavement turning gray is salt and de-icing solutions used during the winter months. When salt and de-icing materials are applied to the asphalt pavement, and UV light hits these pigments in your pavement, it discolors them and makes them appear lighter or grayer than they originally were.

One of the reasons why salt and de-icing material turn asphalt gray is because they contain sodium chloride (NaCl). Sodium chloride leads to the oxidation of iron oxides in the binder, which causes discoloration.

Over time, salt can cause cracks in your pavement due to its corrosive nature. This is why you must remove salt from the pavement to preserve the color and maintain the structural integrity of your pavement.

Oxidation from Water

Asphalt oxidation occurs when water, oxygen, and chlorides interact with asphalt. This interaction causes hydrocarbon chains in the binder to break down into smaller molecules, which then change the binder’s chemical makeup and physical properties.

If you’re looking for a reliable asphalt contractor, Scorpion Construction, LLC at Clearwater, FL, is here to elevate your property’s appearance with our budget-friendly asphalt & concrete paving solutions company! You can get your free estimate now!