How Does Winter Weather Affect Asphalt Surfaces? 5 Common Causes

by | Blog | 0 comments

Has the recent winter weather taken a toll on your asphalt surface?

You’re not alone! Winter weather is notorious for causing severe damage to pavement across Toronto, Ontario, and beyond.

But what are the different ways in which winter weather affects asphalt, exactly? Keep these five common causes top of mind so that you’re better equipped to combat these conditions next winter!

1. Winter Installation

It should go without saying that winter and asphalt paving don’t go together. Hot-mix asphalt needs a heated truck and relatively warm weather in order to maintain its form as it’s being poured.

In cold conditions, the asphalt hardens at much a faster rate, which means that there is very little time to spread the mixture and level it off before it thickens and becomes unusable.

What’s more, the cold ground can sometimes cause aggregate to come loose.

If your asphalt paving contractor installed your pavement around the wintertime, you might already be at a disadvantage. Keep a keen eye out for winter damage!

2. Asphalt Cracks

Low temperatures cause asphalt to repeatedly expand and contract until your pavement eventually buckles and cracks.

Minor cracks aren’t always a cause for concern. As long as you address them quickly by having an asphalt paving company provide crack sealing and preventative maintenance, your pavement should remain in relatively good shape.

Small cracks evolve into large cracks when they are neglected, however, and large cracks can be problematic for your surface.

3. Water Penetration

After snowfall, it’s not the snow itself that threatens the life of your pavement, but rather the water that’s left behind after the snow melts.

This water can enter the large cracks in your pavement and cause your asphalt to continue expanding and contracting once the water refreezes. Worse yet, the water can wreak havoc at the sub-base and cause lasting damage.

4. De-icing Products

While cold weather and precipitation are the most obvious culprits of asphalt damage, de-icing products can be just as damaging.

These chemical-based products certainly come in handy when you need ice and snow to melt quickly, but they can also erode your pavement. Not to mention, they can be very harmful to the environment.

Rather than opting for your typical commercial-grade, chemical-based de-icing product, ask your asphalt paving contractor to recommend a natural snow and ice melting product that won’t eat away at your pavement.

5. Snow Removal Equipment

Finally, there are all types of snow removal equipment that are used to clear snow and ice from the pavement. Whether it’s a snowplow or shovel, these tools can scrape the protective coating from your asphalt and cause aggregate to come loose.

A snowplow with a low-set blade can even gauge pavement and cause large chunks of asphalt to break off.

Do you need a Toronto asphalt paving contractor that can restore your asphalt surface to peak condition after a brutal winter? Call Empire Paving today and get a free estimate for all of your asphalt paving, asphalt maintenance, and asphalt repair needs!

have questions?

We are here to help with any of your
asphalt or concrete needs

We will answer any questions and provide necessary information regarding repairs and maintenance, full reconstruction, or anything else.

JUST Give US A Call

Get a free Consultation for Your Property Today!