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6 Types Of Pavement Failure In Winters

Key Takeaways:

  1. Winter weather can take a toll on your pavement, causing it to crack and dip.
  2. Potholes form when water intrudes the cracks in the pavement & then freezes and expands.
  3. Frost heaves are bumps in the pavement when the soil underneath freezes and expands.
  4. Edge deterioration is a problem that occurs when the edges of the pavement start to crumble.
  5. To reduce your business’s environmental impact this winter, opt for natural methods of melting snow and ice while keeping your parking lot safe.
  6. Properly maintaining your pavement during winter can prevent any accidents or injuries due to black ice or snow.

As winter rapidly approaches, many people are anxious to see the first snowfall. While a blanket of fresh snow is beautiful to look at, it can also be dangerous if not managed correctly. One major hazard of winter weather is pavement failure. Several different types of pavement failure can occur, and each one can cause serious problems. Winters can take a toll on your pavement. Between the cold weather, sleet, snow, and salt, your pavement can quickly become damaged. If you’re not proactive about pavement care, you could end up with a hefty repair bill. Here are a few tips by Garden State Paving & Seal Coating, LLC, to help keep your pavement in good condition during winter.

The Winter Cold & Asphalt

Commercial and industrial property owners often need help to prevent asphalt damage to their parking lots and other communal structures during the winter. Freeze-thaw cycles are created when the temperature falls very quickly from above freezing to below freezing, sometimes in a matter of hours or days.

Asphalt is a very flexible material; however, this attribute can also be its downfall. The asphalt will expand and contract when temperatures change rapidly throughout the day and at night during winter. Any water or debris beneath the surface of the asphalt will freeze along with the expansion and contraction process.

This creates a tunnel-like effect in your asphalt, weakening its structure and causing it to crack and dip even further.

How Does Winter Impact Your Asphalt Pavement?

It can negatively affect your property if you don’t take care of your pavement during the winter. Winter weather takes a toll on asphalt; if you don’t maintain them properly, you could spend more money in the future. If you can’t do it yourself, consider hiring professional paving services to help mitigate some of the effects of winter weather. Below are some ways winter affects asphalt pavement and how you can take care of your pavement during the winter season.

1. Cracking

One of the most common problems asphalt pavement faces during winter is fatigue cracking. When water drips into cracks in the pavement, it freezes and expands, making the cracks bigger. There are three primary types of cracks that can form in pavement:

  • Alligator cracking: These are large, interconnected cracks that resemble an alligator’s skin. They’re usually caused by excessive weight or stress on the pavement.
  • Block cracking: These small, rectangular cracks occur when the asphalt base layer shrinks or swells.
  • Linear cracking: These long, thin cracks run in a straight line. They can be caused by thermal expansion or contraction, improper joint construction, or poor drainage.
  • Potholes

Potholes are another common problem during winter. They form when water seeps into cracks in the pavement and then freezes and expands. As the water thaws, it weakens the asphalt around the crack, causing it to collapse and form a pothole.

2. Frost Heaves

Frost heaves are bumps in the pavement when the soil underneath freezes and expands. This can cause the pavement to crack or buckle. Frost heaves are most common in areas with high clay-content soils.

3. Edge Deterioration

Edge deterioration is a problem that occurs when the edges of the pavement start to crumble. This is usually caused by water seeping into the pavement and then freezing and expanding.

4. Chemical-Based De-Icers and Snow Melters

Most de-icers and snow melters used for commercial purposes contain many chemicals that can be harmful to the environment, especially if wildlife ingests them or they make their way into community water systems. To reduce your business’s environmental impact this winter, opt for natural methods of melting snow and ice while keeping your parking lot safe.

You can buy natural snow and ice-melting products from an asphalt pavement company near you or a hardware store or make your own by mixing hot water and gentle eco-friendly dish soap in a big container. Kitty litter is also successful in being anti-slip. However, it won’t dissolve snow or ice.

5. Wet And Slippery Conditions

Properly maintaining your asphalt pavement during winter can prevent any accidents or injuries on your property due to black ice or snow. As a property owner, you’re liable for any incidents on your land if it’s determined that lack of maintenance was a contributing factor. To prevent this from happening, invest in proper paving services during the colder months.

Related: Is Your Asphalt Pavement Blossoming…With Weeds? It’s Time to Take Action!

How to Prevent Winter Asphalt Damages?

Preventative measures are always important to avoid winter damage, no matter how strong the pavement may be. Asphalt has many advantages, but it can still succumb to difficulties in extreme weather conditions if you don’t take the necessary precautions. Following these steps can reduce or eliminate asphalt pavement damage during winter.

1. Repair Existing Cracks

If you have cracks in your asphalt, water and debris can get into the pavement and cause damage. Fall is a good time to repair cracks, so they don’t get bigger and become costly.

2. Resurface The Whole Area

Yep, that’s right. You may need to resurface your entire asphalt area if it’s been a while. This will help fill existing cracks and add a new layer of protection against winter weather elements.

3. Sealcoat Your Asphalt

A good seal coat can provide extra defense against the winter elements. It can also improve the look of your pavement and make it last longer.

4. Remove Debris

One preventative measure you can take is to clean up any leaves, twigs, or other debris that falls on your asphalt. This will help reduce the chances of water and ice getting into cracks and causing damage.

5. Use Salt Sparingly

While salt can be a helpful tool in melting ice, too much can damage your asphalt. It’s best to use salt sparingly and clean up residual salt after the ice has melted.


6. Keep An Eye Out for Damage

Despite your best efforts, winter weather can still cause damage to your asphalt. Be sure to inspect your pavement regularly and repair any cracks or potholes as soon as possible. These preventative measures can help ensure that your pavement lasts for years.

Got Winter Asphalt Pavement Problems in Medford, NJ? We’ve Got the Solutions!

Garden State Paving & Seal Coating, LLC’s asphalt paving repair experts can quickly patch up cracks and holes in your pavement.

Our teams of skilled professionals in Medford, NJ, are experienced with various asphalt repair techniques to improve the look of your property and prevent early pavement degradation. Don’t wait for the tiny cracks to develop into large ones.

Get in touch with our experienced paving contractors today and bring your surface back to its original condition! We provide budget-friendly repair services for both homeowners and commercial/industrial customers.

Get your quote now!