Winter is here and with it comes a myriad of new hazards and challenges – not the least of which involve driving and road conditions. At Burnaby Blacktop – one of the premiere Vancouver asphalt companies – our asphalt contractors have seen it all in terms of poor roads in need of repair. When it comes to winter road hazards, many of the problems can actually be avoided by proper asphalt paving and asphalt repair in the warmer months. What follows are five common types of winter road hazards and how asphalt companies like Burnaby Blacktop can combat them.
Potholes are a classic highway hazard that a professional asphalt contractor can easily patch up with a proper warning. In short, potholes develop when asphalt expands and contracts to the point of cracking and forming a hole. In the wintertime, these holes fill with snow and become completely camouflaged to drivers. If hit, these holes can cause serious damage to your vehicle’s alignment, undercarriage, or tires. While hard to detect in winter, potholes can be a quick asphalt repair fix before the snow starts to fall.
This is less of an asphalt contractor problem but a winter road hazard nonetheless. The extremes of winter storms can cause all types of debris to build up on roadways. From natural detritus like tree branches to power lines and roadside garbage, it is not uncommon to encounter unnatural items on the road in winter. As a driver, pay close attention to the road especially following recent storms.
It is no surprise that ice is a primary hazard in the wintertime. Black ice, in particular, is especially dangerous as it is nearly impossible to notice from behind the wheel. Like debris built up, ice is not necessarily an asphalt paving problem but is still a major hazard to look out for in winter. Light rain or fog combined with below-freezing temperatures create the perfect conditions for black ice formation, so keep a close eye on the forecast to help predict when you may encounter this road hazard.
Frost heaves result from wet soil freezing, expanding, and pushing a normally solid asphalt surface upward. After winter, as the snow and ice melt, these heaves retreat back to their former state, and the pattern will continue season after season with repeated freeze-thaw cycles. Over time, frost heaves will create cracks and potholes. If you notice these things developing, seek out asphalt repair and asphalt crack filling as soon as possible to avoid another winter of worsening heaves.
Snow and Ice Buildup on Your Vehicle
Because of the cold temperatures outside, many people are eager to get into their vehicles and start driving as soon as possible. If you park outside, however, be sure to clear all ice from your windows as well as any snow build up from underneath your car. You have complete control over these hazards, and it would be silly to get into an accident because you rushed to start travelling before ensuring your vehicle was safe to do so.
There are many road hazards to consider in the wintertime, and asphalt companies like Burnaby Blacktop are eager to help any way we can. If you have an asphalt driveway or notice any other asphalt paving problems that could cause major issues this winter, give us a call today! Our contractors will work endlessly to enhance safety and mitigate hazards before winter hits in full force so we can prevent these hazards from becoming any worse!