Asphalt paving depends heavily on weather conditions and temperatures. And the material is not independent of these factors even after it has been laid down.

Rain happens to be one of the worst enemies of asphalt. It can obviously halt all the construction plans you may have planned out. Not only that, a newly paved asphalt surface or the one laid years ago all are open to severe damage during heavy rainfall.

In this blog, we will aim to discern how rainwater can actually cause an asphalt driveway to break down. Plus, we will have a look at what preventative measures you can take to avoid that damage.

Well, we already know water weakens the asphalt foundation and its structural integrity. Besides, the resulting cracks and potholes are not a pleasing site to witness. So, the threat is not only limited to aesthetics but also the structural strength and longevity.

Thus, here are the things you should be wary about if you’re responsible to take care of an asphalt driveway during the rainy season.


How Can Rain Damage Your Asphalt Driveway?

Asphalt is not really affected by the light rainfall that falls onto it, especially if it is properly installed. But the main damage happens when the water has enough time to sit on the surface. So, the real threat is water logging.

What this does is it eventually leads to cracks and potholes. The whole process begins when rainwater on the asphalt surface causes the oil to separate from asphalt and repel water.

Asphalt, as we know, is a combination of bitumen (a type of viscosity petroleum) and gravel. When rain falls onto asphalt, the oil is forced up. And, according to basic chemistry, oil and water don’t mix.

That’s actually the main reason why you often see oil seeping from wet roads after rain. The worse you could do in such a situation is driving over such a surface. As this action usually accelerates the process of oil separation.

Further, following are the probable scenarios you can expect from this phenomenon:

  • Asphalt shrinkage exposing the gravel components of the driveway or pavement
  • Rainwater soaking the asphalt material and expanding beneath the surface in cold temperature
  • Water washing against the side of the driveway seeping into the ground
  • Development of small cracks and craters due to heavy water penetration

However, you can prevent severe damage with preventative measures such as Asphalt Crack Sealing. We will be discussing this in the later segment of the blog

Furthermore, many people hold the belief that rain will not damage asphalt if it’s newly paved.

Is that so?

Let’s find out…


Is It OK to Rain on New Asphalt?

how rain affects asphalt

Absolutely not.

In fact, newly paved asphalt will react to water more severely as the lighter ends of the tar leach out. On the other hand, old asphalt has already lost most of its volatiles and lighter ends.

That’s not to say old asphalt roads or driveways will not get damaged due to rain. In fact, cracks in a weathered driveway can still allow water to get inside.

Further, problems in a newly paved surface may get worse if the asphalt contractor didn’t pay attention to proper surface sloping.

If the driveway is incorrectly sloped, the water may run off to the sides to penetrate the material. Or, in another scenario, it can get into your yard ruining the landscaping elements.

Basically, Heavy Rain on New Asphalt may cause the water to seep through the sides and get beneath the surface.

Then, the standing water molecules start to expand and contract due to temperature fluctuations. This will cause cracks and further expansion leads to a phenomenon called “stripping”.

This process weakens the bond between the aggregate and the binder causing more deterioration in asphalt. Further, the whole episode makes water leakage into the subbase layer quite easy.

Now, this is the time when things get really serious. The existing cracks continue to grow in size while new cracks keep developing. These go on to become potholes.

Know that when the damage has reached this stage, the solution is most often Pothole Patching. Or if you’re late enough to get in touch with a contractor, Asphalt Replacement may become your last resort. And it will most certainly cost you a lot more than repairs.

So, what can you do?

Well, there are solutions. The next section deals with what should you do in advance to prevent rain from destroying your asphalt driveway.

 Hire a Professional Pothole Repair Company to Fix Rain Damage 


How to Prevent Asphalt Damage from Rain?

To prevent rain-induced asphalt deterioration, the first step is to protect the surface from water logging.

And the way you do it is through covering the asphalt surface when it’s raining outside. But this is often neither feasible nor practical in a large area.

In such a scenario, the best solution is to get a proper drainage system in place. Asphalt contractors often make use of curbing or driveway sloping to direct water away from the surface. This prevents water pooling and the resulting asphalt damage.

Nonetheless, here are the steps you can take to prevent rain damage:

  • Contacting an asphalt construction and maintenance company to install a proper drainage channel
  • Covering the asphalt surface during heavy rainy weather
  • Asphalt Crack Sealing to seal small cracks preventing water from entering the subgrade layers

So, you see there will be no need for asphalt replacement if you’re proactive in asphalt maintenance.

Moreover, let’s see these preventative measures in more detail to understand the mechanism.

Drainage System Installation

Proper placement of drainage structures ensures your asphalt driveway doesn’t have stagnant water on it. Further, it’s important that water is directed off the surface and into the drainage structure.

Contractors use slopes to achieve this. Remember correct sloping is important. You don’t want water inside your house or parking garage.

Asphalt Crack Sealing

This method uses a hot rubberized asphalt sealer to prevent water from entering the subgrade layer. It properly seals the surface and prevents rain water penetration.

Furthermore, detecting damage earlier can save you a lot on future repairs. So, try to get sealing services and asphalt repairs at regular intervals.

 Proper inspection is even more important, especially when rainy weather is just around the corner. 

And a professional asphalt company can help!


Do You Need Budget-Friendly Asphalt Repairs and Services?

Reach Out to the Pros!!

Main Infrastructure is an asphalt construction and maintenance company based in the Greater Toronto area. Our top-notch Asphalt Paving Toronto services are aimed at ensuring the structural integrity of your asphalt construction in any weather conditions.

We offer Asphalt Pothole Repair Toronto services for cases where the rain damage has already occurred.

Further, we implement a complete pavement management planning to prepare a preventative plan. This is a long-term strategy to avoid last minute situations. So, you don’t have to worry about extensive repairs later on.

Our Complete Range of Services Include:

  • Asphalt Paving
  • Pothole Spray Patching
  • Infrared Asphalt Patching
  • Asphalt Crack Sealing
  • Pavement Management Planning
  • Manhole/Catch Basin Repair
  • Vacuum/Hydrovac
  • Sweeping Services

Moreover, Main Infrastructure aims to offer all asphalt services to suit different needs and budget. For that reason, we keep communication lines open to adjust our strategies according to your requirements.

We consider a hazard-free work site as our top priority. In accordance with that, we employ safety professionals to abide by the best safety standards.

So, no matter what kind of asphalt issues you face, we have you covered!

how rain affects asphalt

5 thoughts on “How Can Rain Damage Your Asphalt?

  1. I had my driveway resurfaced, job was completed at 12 noon. The evening at 9:00 PM we had heavy rain fall. The water drained off as the driveway was pitched and no water pooled on blacktop. Did this cause any damage?
    Thanks appreciate your opinions!!!

    1. Actually it depends on the amount of rain. If its just a little sprinkles then it won’t do harm if it starts to pour down then yes it may damage your surface. I would give you a piece of advice that the day you chose for your driveway or parking lot repair, check weather updates for that particular day, if it doesn’t fit you can rescheduled.

  2. Thanks for pointing out that cold temperatures can make water expand and damage asphalt. That would explain the cracks that appeared on my car park earlier this year when the snow melted halfway into spring. Maybe I should get a car park repair service before the next winter arrives.

  3. I didn’t realize that when rainfall stays on the asphalt, it can cause the oil and gravel in the asphalt to separate and start causing problems. As you mentioned, one of the best ways to protect your asphalt driveway is to make sure there aren’t any low spots for the water to stand. I have noticed that there is a spot in my driveway that always turns into a puddle after it rains. I will have to call in the professionals, and see what they can do to fix it.

  4. Sealing and protecting a driveway feels a lot cheaper than constantly having to replace it. If I can get this done, it will really help us avoid having to spend a fortune on the driveway all the time, especially with how crazy the weather is and how easily that can wear out something like that. I’ll work with a local paving contractor so we can call them on a regular schedule for maintenance.

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