How the Winter Season Affects Your Asphalt Driveway

Posted by on Wednesday, October 28th, 2020 in Driveway Paving New Jersey

The post-winter season always signals brighter times because it means the freezing temperatures are on their way out, and spring is coming into the picture. It also means safer drives knowing that roads won’t be stacked with a layer of snow and ice. While spring coming in is a welcome sensation for everyone after a long and cold winter, drivers know the struggle of the road conditions that come after these. 

Roads after the ice and snow have thawed often show plenty of cracks, excess crumbling, and massive potholes. If you have ever wondered what dinosaur has passed by that has caused damage to your asphalt driveway paving, it is not what you think. In fact, these holes in your blacktop asphalt are caused by the shift in temperatures that occur during the winter season. 

The Freeze and Thaw Cycle 

There are periods in the winter that have effects on blacktop asphalt paving. It is important to note that asphalt is quite porous, which means that water that thaws into the paving can expand when temperatures drop. When the drop happens, the liquids freeze internally, which expands the asphalt, causing the crumbling and cracking. An asphalt surface that wasn’t paved well is more likely to develop big potholes than normal minor cracks. 

Sealing the Asphalt Prior to Winter

Fortunately, preventive measures exist in the form of a coating that you can apply before winter arrives. Sealing up cracks that have materialized throughout the year will prevent excessive damage over the winter. Any holes sealed with the proper asphalt coating will prevent the freeze and thaw cycle from taking effect and expanding the paving materials. Having this done by a professional driveway paving service can make a difference in dealing with your home inspections post-cold front. 

The Foundation of the Asphalt Matters

Asphalt pavers often need to be chosen correctly, as a rushed job usually does not mix well with paving services. Laying these materials is procedurally done, with a sub-base layer that acts as the supporting piece between the paving and what’s below it. The sub-base has to be done well; otherwise, any kind of paving job will be naturally flawed and will cause the top layer of asphalt to shift, sink, and crack. 

Investing in a service that takes pride in installation jobs will ensure impeccable quality down the line. A solid foundation always means you’ll need fewer repair jobs thanks to the materials’ strength.

Do Salting With Care

Salt is actually non-damaging to asphalt paving and can keep it relatively safe to step on during heavy snowfall. Using it to de-ice a driveway will make it safer to walk on, preventing slips and harsh falls. However, using de-icing agents with care is recommended due to the environmental effects on plants, waterways, and wildlife. These mixtures of chemicals and other natural ingredients can affect how the local flora and fauna live, so salt as needed and not at all times. 

Conclusion

Asphalt has excellent grip properties, making it such a popular option for roads and driveways. However, this paving material is also susceptible to freezing and thawing, causing damages and unsafe driving conditions. When the snow subsides and the ice thaws, checking your asphalt conditions is recommended to see any damages that may have occurred throughout the winter season. 

Dan The Paver is a premium paving contractor in New Jersey that specializes in driveways and asphalt paving for both residential and commercial clients. Keeping your local area free of damaged roads and with smooth driveways is our top priority, and it has been for over 25 years. Call us today for your free estimate!

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