Asphalt paving is exceptionally durable, but that doesn’t mean it’s impervious to the elements. In the winter, extreme cold can cause cracks and weak spots. Understanding how the weather affects your driveway or parking lot and how to protect your asphalt can dramatically reduce your maintenance and extend the life of your pavement.
How Cold Affects Asphalt
Like most other materials, asphalt contracts icy environments, which can cause small cracks and imperfections in the surface. This minor damage can allow water into the structure itself, where it expands as it freezes, forcing cracks wider and wider. At the same time, water in the soil underneath the asphalt forces the ground upward, potentially causing even more widespread damage.
The Dangers of Deicing Agents
Most professional contractors working in cold climates know to use materials that are resistant to road salt and other deicing agents. However, if the contractor used the wrong material, salt can eat away at the surface, leaving it brittle and vulnerable to even more damage.
How to Protect Your Asphalt
Proper installation is the best defense against the cold, so always hire a reputable contractor who knows how to deal with the local climate. They’ll be sure to use the right materials, and build a foundation that can withstand ground movements caused by the freeze/thaw cycle.
Having your asphalt paving sealcoated every two years will help keep out water, which minimizes the effects of cold weather. You should also have any cracks, potholes, or other damage repaired before freezing weather has a chance to make it worse.
With over 70 years of experience serving homeowners and businesses throughout Rhinelander, WI, Musson Brothers understands the threat posed by harsh winters. No matter what project you’re planning, their asphalt paving contractors will take the time to ensure every step of the project is done right, from site preparation to the finishing touches. To discuss your asphalt paving contract and request an estimate, call their offices at (715) 365-8700 or get in touch online.