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What the Cold Is Doing To Your Asphalt

While summers and spring remain an all-time popular period for asphalt pavement repairs, pothole filling, asphalt crack repairs, and seal coating, it’s the winters that warrant these improvements to the state of the pavement. Asphalt is undoubtedly the most used of all paving materials in road construction, but it’s not indestructible!

The temperature in Moorestown, NJ, is steadily declining as winters advance, so most of us have our winter asphalt maintenance plans in full effect. So, this is for those select few who think that your pavement is still impervious to another year of neglected asphalt winter damage.

Temperature Cycles Expand the Minor Winter Cracks

If you think that asphalt cracks that are less than a quarter of an inch wide will make it through the winter without any change, you are sorely mistaken. Day and nighttime temperatures, coupled with precipitation, will cause ice to form within the small cracks. Ice expands as it freezes, making the cracks wider. The ice melts by day time and seeps into the weakened top asphalt layer. Repeated cycles will leave you with an alligatored pavement by the end of winter next year.

Do you know what the worst thing about alligatored cracking is? It costs a lot to fix since no seal coating can sugar coat those horrid cracks. You will need a full-depth asphalt patch, or at the least, an overlay.

Snow Melt Can Aggravate Water Intrusion

‘Oh, Morristown doesn’t get that much snow!’, you might argue, but it does receive an average of 10 inches of snow, with an added 3-figure above average of precipitation. Snow is essentially water. Fine, it’s not much snow, but it will pack into pavement cracks under the force of vehicles passing over. Some cracks might seem minor but are literal drain sites into the subsequent pavement layers underneath. The water intrusion will, of course, trigger an expansion of cracks along with a compromise of the soil beneath. When wet soil freezes in the sub-zero winter temperatures, the ground expands and raises bumps on otherwise smooth pavement.

The pavement upheaval could have been prevented had the cracks been tended to under suitable crack filling conditions, allowing the surface run-off to flow to the designated drainage paths instead of into the pavement itself.

Deicers Have a Weathering Effect on Asphalt

Salts are popularly used to reduce the melting point of ice to avoid icy surfaces forming over asphalt pavement & parking lots. Apart from their brine-laden surface run-off pitfall, the salts play a bit of harmful chemistry of their own. Moorestown has hydric soil, meaning it is high in water content. Add deicing road salt to surface run-off, and you have excess salt being propagated through the environment and corrosive effects on concrete & asphalt pavement.

It’s much safer to invest in regular surface treatments and eco-friendly deicers if you want your pavement and your town’s ecosystems to survive.

Garden State Paving is your go-to asphalt paving expert in the locality, so do heed our advice and have us know of any forgone pavement damage like potholes & major cracks. We would be glad to provide our expert services and cold patch the damage until we can fix it permanently in the spring!

Please check in with us for an affordable and freely provided estimate on our reliable services in Moorestown, NJ!