Winter isn’t just coming, it’s here, and with it, so is snow and ice that can damage your asphalt. It’s important to be aware of the various ways in which snow affects asphalt so that you can prepare yourself for what you need to do in order to keep your asphalt in good condition.
Winter brings with it both rain and snow. We’ve gone over the ways in which rain affects asphalt in one of our previous blogs: How Rain Affects New Asphalt. Rain and snow can both cause damage to your asphalt, but they can cause different types of damages.
Here’s what you need to know about the most common ways snow affects asphalt. We’ll also go over what you can do in order to address these issues. Let’s jump into it!
#1. The Freeze-Thaw Cycle
Asphalt already expands and contracts with temperature differences. In the winter, snow affects asphalt by causing moisture to soak into it. This causes your asphalt to hold more moisture than it should, causing the freeze-thaw cycle to be even more damaging than normal.
This is what can result in those pesky potholes that appear come spread. The freeze-thaw cycle can also cause cracks to form and spread.
If your asphalt already has cracks, chips, or other such damages, it’s best to have them filled before bad weather strikes. This can prevent melting snow and ice from seeping through and forming potholes.
You also want to remove snow sooner rather than later, to prevent snow from melting into your asphalt and causing damage to it.
#2. Faded Parking Lot Striping
Another way snow affects asphalt is with your line striping. If you run a business, you have a responsibility to ensure that your property is safe. You could be held liable for any injuries or incidents that occur due to your negligence. This applies to removing snow and ice from parking lots and walkways and the like, but also to maintaining pavement striping.
Snow and the deicing agents you use to clear it can cause your line striping to fade. It’s a good idea to start budgeting to have your line striping touched up come spring.
#3. Damage Sealcoating From Snowplows
An indirect way snow affects asphalt is through snowplows. Snowplows are lifesavers in the winter months. They keep the roads clear and safer to drive on. However, it takes experience and training for snowplow drivers to know how high the blade should be in order to prevent damage to your asphalt.
Ideally, the snowplow blade should be set low enough to remove the snow, but high enough to not damage your asphalt. That said, sometimes mistakes can happen or there may be a rookie snowplow driver on the road who doesn’t know any better. If the snowplow blade is set too low, it can scrape your sealcoating.
Fortunately, scrapes like this are usually an easy fix. You can simply contact your local sealcoating company for them to come out and do a fresh coat when the weather is warmer.
#4. Deicing Agents
Yet another way in which snow affects asphalt is through what you do to prevent ice from forming. Salt and other such deicing agents are important to use in order to maintain a safe environment on your property. However, it’s important to be mindful of the types of deicing agents that you use.
Certain deicing agents can cause your asphalt to wear down faster than it would otherwise. When they cause snow and ice to melt, this exposes your asphalt to even more moisture. This can worsen the freeze-thaw cycle, as mentioned above in the first point.
In order to avoid damages, ensure that you have a snow removal system in place and that you use the proper types of deicing agents.
#5. Dirt And Trash
This is another indirect way snow affects asphalt. During the summer months, it’s easy to spot when customers leave litter on your asphalt. However, during the winter, snow can cover up any trash that gets through on the ground. This debris can negatively affect the appearance of your property. If it’s the type that can deteriorate, it could cause damage to your asphalt.
Sometimes snow removal will be able to pick up any litter while removing snow. However, in most cases, you’ll want to have your asphalt cleaned come the warmer months.
Do You Need Asphalt Maintenance?
As you can see, there are many ways in which snow affects asphalt. Precision Asphalt Maintenance provides professional asphalt services so that you can help your asphalt last as long as possible. From maintenance to sealcoating to paving and more, we’ve got you covered. Contact us today to learn more about our services or to obtain a quote for your job.