As the winter grows colder and the snow begins to fall, you might wonder how the snow affects your asphalt driveway, roadway or parking lot. From freezing and thawing, to salt and snow plows; there are many things that you should know about winter conditions and pavement.
1. Continually Freezing and Thawing
The temperature changes throughout the winter months can certainly impact the structure of your pavement and the overall aesthetics. Proper structural design and installation of pavement will help it resist damage from freezing and thawing. The use of Hot-Mix asphalt, for example, is important in colder climates because it is engineered specifically to withstand freezing and thawing cycles.
2. Use of Deicers
Deicing agents, like salt, magnesium acetate or potassium acetate, work by lowering the freezing point of water and melting snow and ice on the surface. It is important, however, to understand that deicers should be used sparingly because of an increased risk of damage to surfaces and the environmental impact of deicing agents. Talk with your asphalt contractor to determine what they would recommend or discourage for your type of pavement.
3. Snow Plows
Anything that scrapes along your pavement has the potential to cause damage, but the damage is usually quite minor. Commercial and municipal snowplows typically set their plow blade high enough to avoid damage to existing smooth surfaces. If you do notice scrapes in your pavement, it could be that your sealer was stripped exposing unsealed aggregate. A simple sealcoat application once the snow melts can help restore your pavement to its original look.
4. Melting Snow
One of the benefits of asphalt pavement is that it absorbs heat from the sun and in turn, can melt snow and ice more quickly than other surfaces. The downside of this is that traditional pavement surfaces can lead to rapid water runoff, pooling water and even flooding conditions. Porous asphalt, however, is an environmentally conscious and sustainable paving solution that allows water to drain through the asphalt. Water flows into the stone bed below the asphalt surface and ultimately, into the soil and water table as nature intended.
While the winter weather conditions may affect many aspects of your life, it should not cause too many problems with your properly installed and maintained asphalt surface.
If you do see any issues as a result of harsh winter conditions, contact Wolf Paving with your questions and receive knowledgeable answers from the experts.