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How Does Winter Affect Asphalt Paving?


How Does Winter Affect Asphalt Paving

The winters can get harsh in the southeast part of the US, which is why you should brace for harsh weather conditions that can take a toll on your asphalt pavement. So, how does winter affect asphalt paving? Understanding how winter affects these asphalt surfaces is important for maintaining the longevity and durability of your asphalt parking lot and asphalt pavement.


How Does Winter Affect Asphalt Paving?


1. Snow & Ice Build Up

The unforgiving winter weather often blankets asphalt surfaces with snow and ice, creating a challenging environment for your parking lot pavement. Once the accumulated snow and ice melt, it forms into standing water. If left unaddressed, this standing water can seep into the asphalt surface, break down the binding agents in the asphalt aggregate, and weaken the foundation. 


2. Freeze-thaw Cycles

One of the most dangerous effects of winter on asphalt is the occurrence of freeze-thaw cycles. These cycles transpire when temperatures go through rapid fluctuations within a short period of time. Asphalt is made of bitumen, aggregate (crushed stones, gravel, and sand), and water. During winter, the trapped water freezes and expands, only to thaw when temperatures change. This continuous cycle can lead to the development of cracks and splits in the pavement. Even asphalt mixes without internal water can succumb to external moisture that have worked its way through the cracks.


3. Wet & Slippery Conditions

Harsh winter conditions will not only compromise the structural integrity of your asphalt pavement, it can also create hazardous surfaces. Wet and slippery asphalt poses a significant risk of slips and falls, which can potentially result in accidents. To prevent this from happening, investing in an asphalt pavement maintenance during the winter months is essential.


Preventing Asphalt Damage During Winter

A proactive approach to winter asphalt maintenance is important to prevent extensive damage. Before the winter season sets in, have your asphalt pavement inspected by a professional contractor. Address existing cracks promptly by patching and repairing them.


In cases of extensive damage, consider resurfacing your pavement before winter arrives. Should repairs be delayed, exercise caution in high-traffic areas and minimize the strain on weakened spots until they can be properly addressed.


If winter is taking its toll on your parking lot or walkway, Wright Construction is here to assist you with our repair and resurfacing services. Let us help you navigate the challenges of the colder season, ensuring the longevity and safety of your asphalt surfaces. Please contact us and we’ll assist you right away.

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