The winter weather is the single largest factor in the longevity of your asphalt. Cold months can be rough on your pavement, so you want to make sure you’re appropriately prepared in order to minimize that weather damage. With a little preparation and some good practices, you can help maintain the structural integrity of your pavement and have everything looking great come spring.
Remove Debris Before It Snows
Large pieces of debris can freeze and damage your asphalt’s surface over a long cold winter, as well as making it more difficult to plow. Even small pieces of debris can provide more area for water to freeze and thaw, damaging your surface. A professional cleaning is a good way to ensure your asphalt gets off to a great start this winter.
Fill in Cracks and Sealcoat
Cracks are weak points in your asphalt – they provide entry points for water to seep into your asphalt, freezing and thawing and damaging your surface. Filling them in can help prevent damage to your surface over the winter. Sealcoating – if it’s still warm enough to do – is another way to provide a protective layer.
Standing water and snow can damage your asphalt over time. A good defense, then, is to clear your asphalt regularly. Be careful if you’re using a plow, however; it can snag in small cracks and potholes and cause surface damage to your asphalt pavement. For lighter jobs, a regular shovel is a safer method.
Limit Your Deicing
Asphalt is more resilient than concrete when it comes to deicing, but that doesn’t mean it’s invulnerable. While common deicers like rock salt won’t directly damage your asphalt, some of the side effects might. Specifically, when it melts the snow and ice, it also encourages water to seep in through surface pores in your asphalt. From there, the freeze-thaw cycle can cause its fair share of damage. This isn’t to say you should never use deicers, just that shoveling and plowing is a better first solution to accumulations of snow.