Did you know: Weather conditions are the number one factor contributing to the wear and tear on your asphalt pavement?
All year-round you need to be vigilant about maintaining and protecting your asphalt to ensure a healthy and long-lasting surface and get the most out of your investment.
It’s no surprise that winter brings with it unique challenges to our asphalt pavements. Though asphalt holds up well in cold temperatures, especially when professionally installed, the freezing, water, and snow that come with it can cause considerable damage over the course of the season.
5 Tips to Protect your Asphalt Pavement this Winter
As we move further into the season, it becomes even more important to take active steps in protecting your asphalt. With multiple snowfalls, temperatures below freezing, and the occasional blizzard, winter is one of the roughest seasons on our pavements. Luckily, a small amount of maintenance before and during the winter season goes a long way toward helping our asphalt pavements get through it unscathed.
We’ve put together a list of 5 tips to protect your asphalt from the winter weather and help you ensure your pavement is healthy and problem-free come spring.
#1 Sealcoating and Repair
The number one measure you can take to protect your asphalt in the winter is to address cracks and potholes as soon as possible. As water from rain and melted snow seep into your pavement and freezes, these small and cheaply repaired issues can become substantial, expensive repairs. Potholes and cracks are subject to pooling and standing water which will cause these defects to expand throughout the season.
Ideally, you would conduct these repairs before the temperature starts to drop to prevent as much damage as possible, but it’s never too late. Any defect present in your asphalt pavement will only get worse as the season continues.
Sealcoating asphalt gives your surface another line of defense against the harsh climate. Keeping as much water out of your pavement as possible is critical for a healthy foundation. Unfortunately, unlike crack and pothole repair, this will have to wait until the warmer months if you’ve been neglecting it. An asphalt seal coat requires a temperature of about 50 degrees to cure.
#2 Remove Debris from Your Asphalt
Debris on your asphalt can be damaging in two ways.
First, the debris can freeze to your pavement and cause wear to that area over the course of the season. Remove debris before the snow begins to accumulate on your surface to prevent this.
Secondly, snow removal by plowing or shoveling can be impeded by the debris and even cause further damage to the surface.
You can ensure that no debris is present by conducting a thorough cleaning before the snow starts to accumulate. If you have a sizable asphalt pavement such as an asphalt parking lot, consider getting a professional cleaning if you don’t have the time or resources to do it yourself.
This cleaning also provides a perfect opportunity to conduct a thorough inspection and identify any repairs that should be made.
#3 Stay on Top of Standing Water
Standing water is asphalt’s worst enemy all year long, but winter weather compounds the ill effects even more due to freezing.
When you allow water to get into your pavement and freeze, it creates cracks and potholes. These will continue to get worse the longer the problem is left unaddressed.
Having healthy pavement, free of cracks and potholes, helps prevent water from having a place to pool and cause damage. If you do notice water pooling, remove it as soon as possible to minimize the deterioration of your pavement.
In addition to getting into your pavement and damaging it from within, water will freeze on the surface. Ice on the surface not only hurts the pavement itself but presents a severe hazard to those who use it. Keeping an eye out for standing and pooling water goes beyond maintenance. It is a responsible practice to protect the people who frequent your home or business to protect yourself from liability.
#4 Snow Removal
Though it may be your least favorite part of the winter months, continuous snow removal is essential to protecting your pavement during the winter. As snow melts, water will seep into your pavement and lead to all the problems we’ve previously mentioned.
If you have a large asphalt surface, consider professional snow removal. Plowing can damage your pavement if done improperly.
We know shoveling snow is a pain, but doing it frequently both protects your asphalt and makes it a little easier each time. Letting snow pile up day after day compounds the deterioration from water and any missed debris.
De-icing is a necessary evil where the winters are harsh. For public and personal safety, ensuring that pavements have good traction to prevent customers, employees and guests from being injured.
De-icing isn’t always bad for pavement, but you should be mindful of which products you use. Avoiding the use of harsh chemicals on your pavement is both environmentally responsible and keeps your pavement in ship shape.
It’s Not Too Late to Protect Your Asphalt
We hope these tips help you protect your asphalt pavement from the winter weather this season. One last thing we want to note is, it is never too late to protect your asphalt pavement!
If you haven’t kept entirely up to date on your asphalt maintenance, the time to get caught up is now! Problems become prohibitively expensive and time-consuming to fix, the longer you wait. Once your pavement is damaged and vulnerable, issues will only get worse. Asphalt pavement is a sizable investment, but proper maintenance, especially in the colder months, will guarantee your money was well spent.
If you need any help, our paving experts at Limitless Paving & Concrete are here to assist you. Don’t hesitate to give us a call for all your paving services, or have any questions or concerns about your asphalt or other pavement. We proudly serve Frederick, MD and the surrounding areas with high quality asphalt and concrete paving services.