Just the other week Brits were basking in one of the longest periods of sun since 1995 with temperatures reaching 30 degrees and above for five days in a row. Whilst many of us welcomed the heat wave, it left many drivers across the UK frustrated. This was because some roads had begun to melt under such high heat levels.
It has been reported that in some areas such as Doddington, Norfolk tyres had been ripping the tarmac off of the road at 30 MPH. Notices were issued instructing that drivers must take care. A photo was also tweeted showing grit being lay down on the hot tarmac in an attempt to make the roads safer to drive on. Granite dust or grit will settle down the melting process and prevent as much bitumen material attaching itself onto driver’s tyres.
Why does this happen? Following the last heat wave in 1995, the road industry introduced a new type of asphalt, which has a higher tolerance for heat melting at 80 degrees.
However, this type of asphalt is more expensive and it tends to be found on roads that have high levels of traffic such as in large city areas. Heavy traffic areas typically have 3 layers of asphalt laid on them. On the other hand, country lanes that do not receive as much traffic will only have two. When tarmac begins to melt it usually affects the first layer only. The weather has since cooled down and repairs of the roads are underway.
Whilst the roads may be easily repaired damage that has affected your tyres hasn’t been solved. With that said, ensure your tyres are properly inflated to prevent any damage. Under inflated tyres produce more heat, which in turn will cause more friction between the road and your tyres. It is recommended that you check your tyre pressure at least once a month. A tyre pressure monitoring system can come in handy, as it will notify you if your tyre pressure is too low.
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