The Effects Snowy Weather Has on Your Asphalt

The Effects Snowy Weather Has on Your Asphalt

Months of ice and snow can wreak havoc on your asphalt surface.  The snow and ice – and, more importantly, the freezing and thawing – can have significant impacts on your asphalt’s structural integrity and cause harm to its longevity.

With over 20 years of experience, Epic Paving and Contracting has seen everything winter weather can do to your asphalt.  Here are some key important facts to keep in mind when dealing with your asphalt and Toronto’s cold weather.

Freezing and Thawing

The damage that snow does to your asphalt is linked to the freezing and thawing cycles.  As water freezes, it expands, and that’s bad news for your asphalt.  The water which has seeped into cracks and crevasses in your surface will expand, and that will cause those cracks to widen.  That compromises the surface, which is what, in turn, leads to potholes.

The Damage

You can avoid damage to your asphalt with regular preventative maintenance.  Filling in cracks to prevent water from seeping in is a good start, as are sealcoat applications.  If left unmaintained, the freezing and thawing cycles will take advantage of damage to your surface or subbase.  As the water expands, it widens cracks.  When it melts again, it seeps in through those widened cracks, under the sub-base, and damages the structural integrity of your pavement.

Hire the Professionals

When you have your asphalt properly installed by experts, like the professionals at Epic Paving and Contracting, you can avoid a great deal of this damage.   A solid sub-base, underneath your pavement, will increase the longevity and durability of your asphalt.  It helps prevent the shifting, cracking and sinking which create those weak points in the first place.  Proper asphalt mixes, designed to handle cold winter temperatures, are another must-have in order to avoid damage.

Does Salt Harm Asphalt?

Unlike concrete, asphalt is not negatively impacted by salt.  It won’t cause deterioration over time, and won’t cause potholes.  If your asphalt is already damaged, its possible salt will speed up the problem; after all, the damage is caused by water freezing and melting, and salt causes ice to melt.  That’s not the salt, though – that’s the fault of the already existing problems in the asphalt.

Asphalt Helps Snow Melt Faster

Asphalt is dark-colored, and that will actually help the snow melt faster naturally.  It absorbs more heat from the sun than light-colored surfaces like concrete, which in turn causes snow and ice to melt more quickly.  For that reason, asphalt is a great choice for parking lots, driveways and sidewalks in wintery conditions.