This has been a doozie of a winter so far—and according to that pesky groundhog, it’s woefully far from over. Do you know how your asphalt is holding up under the strain? With multiple winter storms, a mix of icy, snowy and wet precipitation, ice-melt chemicals, plowing, significant temperature changes and regular old driving, it’s no wonder people around Northern Virginia are worried about or already dodging potholes. But with our winter asphalt maintenance tips, hopefully you can keep your customers and residents blissfully unconcerned about those issues in your paved areas:
Asphalt Maintenance Tips in Winter Start in the Summer…
…Or at least during warmer, drier weather. It is important to have your parking lots and other paved areas sealed every 2-3 years. These sealants help to prevent water from seeping down into cracks. Why is this so important? Because a small crack can turn into a big pothole over the course of the freeze/thaw cycle. When water trapped under the substrate freezes, it expands. When it thaws, it contracts. When this happens several times over during the winter, it weakens the foundations and upper layers of asphalt, which inevitably causes bigger cracks and potholes, which can cause you and your customers or residents a lot of trouble.
This is why having the pavement regularly sealed is helpful. Sealants fill small cracks and cause water to run off of the paved area; not seep down into the pavement to cause damage. This helps your asphalt last longer.
It does not have to be full-blown summer for you to have your asphalt re-sealed. The surface temperature should be at least 40 F or higher, and the forecast should be for dry weather over the next several days.
Winter Asphalt Maintenance Tips: Snow Removal
Even though it isn’t cheap, it pays to have a professional snow-removal service promptly remove the snow from your paved areas. Amateur snow removalists are likely to cause more damage as they plow away the snow, but experienced snow-removal teams are trained to get the snow out of the way (which you need to do for safety and legal reasons) with minimal damage to the asphalt. Of course, when the weather is really crazy, some damage to the asphalt may occur even under the plow of a professional, so it is important to keep an eye on the condition of the asphalt as the weather melts and the asphalt comes into view again.
Asphalt Maintenance Tips in Winter: Stay Vigilant, Avoid Potholes!
Again, make sure to check your parking lots and other paved areas frequently throughout the winter, particularly after major weather events. If you notice any cracks, buckling, plow damage or potholes, the best thing to do is call Espina Paving right away to have the damage fixed before it spreads and gets worse. The faster any small damages are repaired, the less expensive and time-consuming they are to fix, which will mean less disruption for you, your customers or your residents.