Prepare for Winter Asphalt Damage

As the cold sets in and snow begins to fall, a lot of maintenance issues that weren’t a big deal in warmer weather become glaring problems. Winter can reveal or worsen weaknesses in many materials, but asphalt damage is one category that affects many parts of everyday life. Follow these tips to find damage to your pavement, and make sure your parking lot or driveway survives the winter.

Pre-Winter Fixes

You can stay ahead of some of the damage if you take care of your pavement before the snow starts to fall. In your autumn cleaning projects, make a spot to pressure-wash or otherwise clean your driveway or parking lot thoroughly. You’ll want to invest in a detergent that will get grease and chemicals out of your asphalt; otherwise, they’ll remain to freeze with the snow and cause more damage.

Fill in any significant cracks or potholes before the temperatures get down to freezing. Once the snow is on the ground, the cycle of freezing and thawing water will force the hole to adapt, which will expand your cracks and make them more dangerous. Call in a paving contractor to fill in potholes before the season gets too far underway.

If you have the budget for it, invest in a sealant that will protect your asphalt from the weather and other products you use to fight it. Rock salt or ice-melting substances are terrible for your pavement, so if you plan to use either frequently, you’ll need to guard your driveway or parking lot from the damage rather than fixing gaping holes when spring comes.

Mid-Winter Adjustments

If your area gets plowing services regularly throughout the winter, you won’t need as much snowmelt, but you’ll have to deal with the scratches and chips that come with careless snowplow drivers. To avoid damage, make sure to clear your paved surfaces of debris that could trip up the plow, and ask the operator to keep the blades off the ground as they work.

Ensure that your driveway or parking lot has proper drainage, and keep the paths clear so that melted snow and ice don’t have to sit in puddles. If you let the water stay in place on the pavement or the edges of your space, it’s far more convenient for the freeze-thaw cycles to do their damage. If you can’t get your drains properly in place before winter, try to get rid of excess water anywhere you notice it pooling.

Even if you have a sealant in place, avoid using your rock salt or ice-melting substances too liberally. Your goal should be to preserve the pavement and its coating until spring thaws come and you can assess the season’s damage.

Post-Winter Overhauls

Once the spring thaws come, you can begin fixing the damage that winter caused. Fill in any new cracks and potholes so they won’t continue to erode as the rains come. Schedule your contractors as soon as you can, though — materials and laborers are often in high demand this time of year, so if you aren’t proactive, you could have to wait a while for repairs.

If you don’t get enough cleansing rain in the spring, wash your paved surfaces yourself to look for damage and get any residues off. If you took care of your driveway before the winter and throughout the chilly months, you won’t have too much to worry about, and you’ll be able to focus your attention on other things.

If you need repair work done or want to repave an entire surface, call upon J.R. Paving & Construction Co. The team has served Western Pennsylvania and the tristate area for over 40 years, giving us the experience to do any job you ask of us. Get in touch today to see how JR Paving & Construction Co., Inc., can take your pavement above and beyond your expectations.