Winter brings challenges to various aspects of infrastructure, and asphalt lots are no exception. Harsh weather conditions, including freezing temperatures with snow and ice, can take a toll on asphalt, leading to deterioration and safety hazards.

Proper winter asphalt care is essential to preserve the integrity of paved surfaces and ensure the safety of pedestrians and drivers. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore key strategies and best practices for effective winter asphalt maintenance.

Pre-Winter Inspection and Repairs

Fortune favors the brave and the prepared. Before winter arrives, use professional services to conduct a thorough inspection of the asphalt surface.

Identify any existing cracks, potholes, or deteriorated areas. Addressing these issues before winter sets in prevents further damage caused by freezing and thawing cycles.

It might seem like a bit of additional work when your organization is already busy, but it will be worth it in the end.

Cracks in the asphalt are pathways for water infiltration, leading to the expansion of cracks during freezing conditions. Fill cracks using appropriate sealants.

Consider getting a fresh coat of sealant applied to protect the entire surface. Seal coating contributes to the overall durability of the driveway.

It acts as a sacrificial layer, absorbing the impact of traffic, weather, and other environmental factors. This helps extend the life of the driveway by reducing wear and tear on the underlying materials.

Additionally, a freshly sealed driveway is more aesthetically pleasing. The sealant provides a uniform finish, enhances the color of the driveway, and gives it a well-maintained appearance. This can significantly improve the curb appeal of the property.

Snow and Ice Management

Prompt snow removal is crucial for maintaining safe and accessible asphalt surfaces. Use snowplows, snow blowers, or shovels to clear accumulated snow. Regular snow removal prevents the formation of compacted ice, reducing slip and fall risks.

Apply deicing agents strategically to melt ice and prevent its formation. However, use deicers judiciously, as some can accelerate asphalt deterioration.

Calcium chloride and magnesium chloride are often considered less harmful to asphalt compared to traditional rock salt. They are both considered more environmentally friendly than rock salt. They have a lower impact on soil and vegetation and are less harmful to aquatic ecosystems when compared to sodium chloride.

When clearing snow, use plastic or rubber-edged plows instead of metal blades. Metal blades can damage the asphalt surface and contribute to premature wear.

Proactive Surface Protection

Implement anti-icing measures before snowfall to create a barrier that inhibits the bonding of snow and ice to the asphalt surface. Pre-wetted salts or liquid deicing agents can be applied in advance to prevent the formation of ice.

Sand can enhance traction on icy surfaces and is an environmentally friendly alternative to deicing agents. Apply sand to areas prone to icing, such as walkways and intersections, to improve safety.

This will also ensure that visitors and employees don’t end up slipping and hurting themselves on your property, which can be a huge liability issue. You don’t want to spend all your organization’s resources fighting lawsuits because you weren’t careful enough with deicing your driveways and walkways.

Crack and Pothole Repair During Winter

In cases where cracks or potholes emerge during winter, use cold patching materials to make immediate repairs. Cold patching is designed to be effective in lower temperatures, providing a temporary solution until more comprehensive repairs can be undertaken in warmer weather.

Since cold patch asphalt does not require heating, it is immediately available for use. This allows for on-the-spot repairs without the waiting time associated with hot mix asphalt, which needs to be produced and transported to the repair site.

Of course, this is only a temporary measure until you call in professional services to repair the cracks and potholes properly. Do not use this as a permanent measure to repair your asphalt lots.

Post-Winter Assessment

After winter, conduct a post-winter inspection with an asphalt and concrete services professional to assess the condition of the asphalt surface. Identify any new cracks, potholes, or areas of concern that may have developed during the winter months.

Bring in professional services so you can develop a plan for spring repairs based on the post-winter assessment. Schedule repairs and maintenance activities, including crack filling, seal coating, and any necessary resurfacing or reconstruction.

Additional Considerations

Trim overhanging branches to prevent damage caused by falling limbs or ice accumulation. Ice-laden branches can pose a significant threat to asphalt surfaces.

Ensure proper drainage to prevent water accumulation on the asphalt surface. Standing water can freeze and lead to the formation of ice patches. It also takes away from the curb appeal and aesthetic of your property.

Plan designated areas for snow storage to prevent piling it on the asphalt surface. Piled snow can contribute to prolonged periods of moisture exposure and potential damage.

Regular Maintenance Beyond Winter

Implement a routine inspection schedule throughout the year. Regular inspections performed by a professional service allow for the early detection of issues and prompt intervention, preventing minor problems from escalating into major repairs.

Winter conditions can cause fading or damage to pavement markings. Refresh road markings, crosswalks, and other signage to maintain clear and visible communication for drivers and pedestrians.

You don’t want visitors or employees getting into disagreements over parking spots because the lines aren’t clear enough for them. Or getting into accidents because of them, either.

Consider hiring professional asphalt contractors for comprehensive assessments and maintenance. Professionals can provide expert advice and perform specialized services, ensuring the longevity of your asphalt surfaces.

Proper Asphalt Maintenance Requires Constant Vigilance

It’s not enough to perform asphalt maintenance once a year and be satisfied with that. This is a field that requires constant work and help from professional services.

An expert will be able to guide you to do the right things at the right time, rather than waiting until it’s too late. ACI Asphalt & Concrete is a commercial paving company that you can trust to do it right. We have 30 seasons of commercial paving expertise behind us, so don’t hesitate to contact us today to request a quote on your job!

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Published On: February 8, 2024By Categories: ACI Asphalt