Is it Necessary to Winterize Your Asphalt Pavement?

January 2019

With winter and its accompanying snowfall on the way, it is important to look at your existing pavement and ensure it is ready for the harsh weather conditions to come. Crisdel has over 50 years’ experience in the asphalt pavement industry and can help you prepare your asphalt for winter by preventing small problems from becoming big ones. Here are a few tips from the experts on how to make sure your pavement lasts longer, looks and performs better even in the worst of conditions.This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is SNOW-IN-PARKING-LOT-1-1024x676.jpg

Parking lots and other paved areas should be checked at least twice a year for problems. Here are some things to look for that may be problematic:

  • Striping: Old, dull or worn striping and pavement-level signage such as fire lane indicators and other information may be harder to see and read during winter months.
  • Cracks, Divots or Uneven Areas: These can be caused by weeds growing beneath the surface, freeze/thaw patterns, standing water, and oil or ongoing heavy truck traffic. Small cracks and divots are often the first visible sign of a possible asphalt breakdown. It is more efficient and cost effective to repair them when they’re small by seal coating or spot patching than it is to do a complete tear out and reinstall the pavement.
  • Areas of Standing Water: Water can break down the asphalt binder and leak down into the subgrade, eroding it over time. This is also an indication that the pavement or subgrade may already be failing because modern grading techniques are designed to establish a grade that flushes water away from the parking area and toward designated drainage points.
  • Oil or Other Chemicals that Leak Directly onto the Pavement: Just like water, some chemicals associated with vehicles can cause binder breakdown and lead to subsurface problems. Cleaning up oil and other chemicals spills as quickly as possible can help prevent this and keep your asphalt in better condition.

Here are some tips to help prevent the problems listed above:

  • Clear Debris from Drainage Channels and Curbs: If water has nowhere to go, it does not matter how good the drainage plan for your lot is. Make sure the drainage channels and storm sewers are clear of leaves, branches, and garbage.
  • Limit Heavy-Vehicle Traffic as much as possible: Large trucks and other heavy vehicles can place a lot of stress on asphalt. If the asphalt is already compromised by water or plant intrusion, this could speed up the breakdown of your asphalt.
  • Be Sure your Asphalt is Sealed: Even if your parking lot is free from cracks and divots, it is a good idea to have it seal coated every 4-5 years. Seal coating helps rejuvenate the asphalt binder at the surface, adding an extra layer of protection against traffic, water, and other spills. It will also make your parking lot look newer, making your property more attractive.
  • Seek Professional Help: If you are not sure if the paving issues you’ve identified are big enough to cause concern, contact Crisdel for an evaluation. We are happy to assess your asphalt paving needs any time of the year. For more information about our capabilities, please visit crisdel.com/services

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