How Does Snow Affect Asphalt?

With winter around the corner, you may be wondering — Is my asphalt ready? Winter weather can cause severe damage to asphalt. Without proper care and maintenance, a paved parking lot can become scarred by cracks and potholes. 

Snow and ice are a constant threat in the winter months. The weather is very unpredictable, and many times we experience heavy snow, ice storms, and temperature swings — all of which can inflict lasting damage to your paved surfaces. Here is a list of symptoms of asphalt damage during the winter:

  • Potholes
  • Large cracks
  • Crumbling curbs and drainage areas
  • Snow plow damage

Here are some suggestions that may help you avoid damage during the winter:

Find the Proper Snow Removal Company

Snow plows can wreak havoc on your asphalt. It is essential to discuss snow mitigation efforts with a trusted snow removal company. Ensure they are using rubber protection on the snow blades to not scrape the asphalt directly while plowing. Without the proper protectors on the blade, a snow plow can remove the upper layer of your pavement, causing water to seep into the paved surface and begin to degrade it.

Another tip to discuss with your snow removal provider is the use of curb barriers in the winter. These are generally bright-colored markers that allow snow plow drivers to know where curbs and speed bumps are. These are especially helpful when a large snowfall happens, as even experienced plow drivers may not know where your curbs are located under the snow.

Any reputable snow removal company should be more than happy to accommodate your requests, and this will lessen the chances of potential winter damage to your asphalt. 

Limit the Use of Deicers on Certain Paved Surfaces

Although many hot-mix asphalts can withstand the temperature fluctuations caused by salt use, there are other reasons to avoid the overuse of deicers. If the asphalt is already damaged and hasn’t been properly maintained, salt can exacerbate the problems, causing further damage down the road.

Sub-Base Installation

The installation of a proper sub-base will ensure the best protection against cracks and potholes caused by winter weather. The sub-base is an integral part of any paving job, guaranteeing the asphalt has a solid foundation underneath. The best solution to preventing winter damage to your asphalt is finding the right paving contractor.
We take pride in our business and look forward to working on your next paving or commercial asphalt repair project. For more information, reach out to our team today!