Mar 15, 2023

The Winter Effect on Asphalt and Concrete Pavement

Importance of Regular Inspection and Maintenance

Winter can be harsh on paving surfaces, especially in areas like Vancouver, where temperatures fluctuate greatly, and de-icing agents are frequently used. Asphalt and concrete pavements are not immune to the effects of winter and can experience damage in the form of cracks, potholes, sinkholes, and faded markings. That is why it is important to check your pavement after and during a harsh winter to assess the damage and take appropriate action.

What Are the Winter Hazards that Damage Asphalt?

One of the primary causes of pavement damage during winter is temperature fluctuations. As temperatures drop, the asphalt and concrete surfaces contract, causing stress to build up in the material. When temperatures rise, the material expands, which can result in cracking or the formation of potholes. This repeated cycle of expansion and contraction over time can cause significant damage to the pavement surface.

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pot hole in road with accumulated water

In addition to temperature fluctuations, heavy traffic and the use of de-icing agents can also contribute to pavement damage during winter. Vehicles, especially heavy trucks, can cause significant wear and tear on the surface, exacerbating existing cracks and creating new ones. De-icing agents, such as salt and sand, can also be harmful to the pavement and cause corrosion, stripping, and cracking. Poor drainage can also cause water to pool on the surface, leading to erosion and the formation of sinkholes.

Here are some of the Signs That Your Asphalt May Need Care and Attention.

  • Cracks: Being a porous material, you may begin to see cracks. If your asphalt has been damaged by cracks, its integrity deteriorates over time. Water can easily penetrate its surface and cause further damage. As the water freezes during cold winters, it pushes the asphalt up, opening the crack more. If you do notice a crack in your asphalt, have it repaired right away. Ask about the crack sealing service.
  • Potholes: This is a common problem for asphalt pavement. Potholes form when water seeps into cracks in your asphalt and freezes. This creates “heaving” as it expands and contracts, which is determined by temperature’s effect on water. Heavy traffic adds to the wear and tear as it rolls over these spots. As the asphalt breaks apart into chunks and pebbles, they get caught in tire treads, causing what is known as “rocking.” The result also causes damage to the surface. Burnaby Blacktop are expert at pothole repair.
  • Sinkage: Asphalt, being a permeable material, can experience saturation and erosion from underneath when exposed to excessive moisture. This can result in thinning and subsidence of the asphalt layer, leading to the formation of cracks and exacerbating the damage over time. The ingress of water through these cracks can further deteriorate the asphalt’s structural stability. To mitigate the issue and preserve the longevity of the surface, it is imperative to address any signs of subsidence promptly through professional repair services
  • Faded Designation Markings: Another problem that happens gradually over time is faded lines or markings that have served to maintain a clear and orderly way for vehicles to navigate. These markings provide important information about direction and flow, lane changing, lane restrictions and passing. A big part of parking lot repair is to maintain clearly marked designations. When roads endure tough winters, these markings can wear off quickly, causing additional hazards.

3 Tips for Proactive Protection

To protect your pavement from the damaging effects of winter, it is essential to be proactive and regularly inspect the surface for signs of damage. Here are three tips to help you maintain the longevity and integrity of your pavement during winter:

  • Conduct Regular Inspections: Regularly inspect your pavement, both visually and physically, to assess the damage and identify areas that need repair. Look for cracks, potholes, sinkholes, and faded markings, and make note of any areas that require attention.
  • Address Issues Promptly: If you notice any signs of damage, it is essential to address the issue promptly. Small cracks and potholes can quickly escalate into larger problems if left unaddressed. Hiring a professional paving contractor, like Burnaby Blacktop, can ensure that repairs are performed quickly and effectively.
  • Implement Preventative Measures: To prevent damage from occurring, implement preventative measures such as regularly cleaning the surface, repairing cracks and potholes promptly, and maintaining proper drainage. Consider using a seal coat to protect the surface and extend its lifespan.

In conclusion, winter can have a significant impact on asphalt and concrete pavements, causing damage in the form of cracks, potholes, sinkholes, and faded markings. Regular inspections and prompt repairs can help maintain the integrity and longevity of your pavement, ensuring it remains functional and aesthetically pleasing.

Contact Burnaby Blacktop to Assist You

For expert maintenance and repair services for your asphalt and concrete pavement, contact Burnaby Blacktop. Our experienced team will work with you to assess your pavement, identify areas that need repair, and provide customized solutions to meet your needs.

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