With summer not too far away, you may be wondering “Does hot weather affect the roads?”. Whilst the bad weather in winter is normally to blame for causing damage to UK roads, extreme heat in the summer months can also affect the quality of the tarmac. Read on to find out more about how hot weather affects the roads.
In very high temperatures, the bitumen in the road surface can soften, with the material particles within it becoming much more mobile. This can cause the roads to deteriorate, particularly if there’s heavy traffic. Roads generally stay solid up to around 50C. This is normally sufficient since air temperatures never climb that high, even during the hottest days of summer.
However, because the dark surface of the road absorbs the sunlight, it gradually heats up throughout the day. Temperatures in the high 20Cs can be all that’s needed to soften the tarmac. Of course, the extent to which this happens or if it even if it happens at all depends on various factors, including the angle of the sun and the wind conditions. Keep reading to learn how does hot weather affect the roads.
According to the Met Office, the heatwave that began on 7th August 2020 broke records in terms of the maximum temperatures reached and their duration. The heatwave was so intense and prolonged that roads literally melted. The road surfaces became sticky and more susceptible to pressure from heavy vehicles, leading to permanent damage such as ridges and ruts.
Naturally, driving on soft, sticky roads in a heatwave isn’t ideal. In fact, it can be downright dangerous in some cases. The AA says that there is a bigger danger of tyre blow-outs when temperatures are extremely high. They suggest that drivers check their tyre pressures before setting off on their journeys. Ideally, this should be when the tyres are cold. Another recommendation is to drive either early in the morning or later on in the evening when road temperatures are lower.
When roads melt, some local authorities send out gritters loaded with granite dust. This dust makes the soft bitumen more stable and helps keep roads from melting excessively. It prevents excess bleeding on the road’s surface, causing the bitumen to remain inert. The Road Surface Treatments Association (RSTA) advises carrying out dust spreading just before temperatures reach their highest at around midday. Whilst it may surprise you to see the gritters on the roads in summer when they’re usually out in winter spreading grit and salt, it’s actually standard practice for keeping roads safe during long periods of hot weather.
Following a lengthy heatwave in 1995, a new standard for road surface material was introduced. Polymer modified binders were added to hot rolled asphalt in order to help the roads resist temperatures of up to 80C. However, because they are so expensive, they are only used on the very busiest roads. Less than 5% of roads in the UK contain polymer modified asphalt. Sometimes, dressings containing polymer modified binders are added to the surface of particularly vulnerable roads to help them resist future melting.
UK engineers have a sizeable challenge on their hands when it comes to protecting the nation’s roads from the effects of the weather. The trouble is that they need to create roads that can withstand a wide range of temperatures. Asphalt roads have to be able to cope with temperatures from -20C to +60C. Research into modern road-building materials is continuing, however, rising temperatures due to climate change and financial restraints are making it difficult for highway authorities to construct roads that last a long time.
With hot weather having such a significant impact on UK roads, it’s no surprise that Road Marking Services are in such high demand at this time of year. White lines on roads can quickly deteriorate during periods of extreme heat, which means they need to be repainted as soon as possible. Faded road markings can be extremely dangerous, potentially resulting in accidents. Road markings need to be clearly visible to help keep motorists and pedestrians safe. Road markings that offer clear and accurate instructions are essential for both navigation and safety.
If you require white lining in Wakefield or the surrounding areas, look no further than Road Marking Services. We have been applying white lines to roads, car parks and other environments for over 25 years, giving us a huge amount of experience. All our team are fully trained and use the best, most effective techniques to apply white lines. Whilst we usually use thermoplastic screed for white lines due to it being quick drying and abrasion-resistant, we can also use a variety of other materials if they’re more suitable. These include epoxy, water-based paint or chlorinated rubber paint. At Road Marking Services, all work comes with a full guarantee.
We’ve worked with a wide range of clients over the years, including many local authorities. We’ve built up a great reputation for our professional, reliable services as well as our competitive prices. If you need white lining on your site and need the work carried out to the highest possible standard, contact us.
Now that you know the answer to “Does hot weather affect the roads?”, you may be looking for a company to help maintain them. For professional white lining in Wakefield, get in touch with our friendly and very knowledgeable team today. You can reach us by calling on the below number or by messaging us via our website. We’re on hand to discuss your requirements with you and arrange to carry out a free site survey.
All of our work is fully guaranteed and we as a company always make sure that you are happy with the completed work before we leave. We undertake all types of marking work from small one-off car parks to contracts that require regular work.