It’s that time of year again. Cold nights and chilly mornings are still giving way to afternoon warmth, but with Thanksgiving over and Christmas on the way, it is just a matter of time before we settle in for another frigid winter. Winter can be tough on asphalt, but taking a few precautions now can help to protect your driveway or parking lot through the long, cold months.

Sealing joint - crack in asphalt

Fix Cracked Asphalt & Other Minor Damage

The best defense is a good offense. Take the time to critically survey your asphalt. Are there any asphalt cracks or potholes? If so, water can penetrate to the deeper layers of the asphalt, where it can get trapped and freeze, expanding to cause further damage. When the ice melts, it will contract, leaving a void. As vehicles pass over the void, they can cause buckling and even more damage.

To short-circuit this process, schedule asphalt repairs as soon as possible. Once the ambient air and ground temperatures drop too low, it will be impossible to perform long-lasting repairs until spring. Now is the time to make sure that all minor damage is repaired and your asphalt is ready for winter.

Protect With Asphalt Sealcoating

One of the best ways to protect your asphalt against damage from winter weather is to have it seal coated. Before the ambient temperature gets too low, ask your asphalt professional about applying a seal coat. This thin, protective layer helps your driveway or parking lot repel water, along with oil, gas, and other chemicals that can weaken the asphalt. Seal coats should be inspected every year and reapplied every two to three years as needed.

Prepare for Snowplows

Snowplows are a fact of life during the winter, but can wreak havoc on asphalt if not properly prepared for. First, make sure that your snow removal company is professional and experienced. It is impossible for any snow remover to leave your asphalt completely undisturbed, but the more experience a company has, the better its employees usually are at minimizing damage.

In addition, place obvious markers around your driveway edges, or the curbs and islands of your parking lot. Make sure they will stick up above the snow and are easy to see even in poor weather conditions. These will alert your snow removal driver to the contours and boundaries of your asphalt, helping them to avoid expensive and difficult to repair damage.

Check Your Drainage System

Make sure that your drainage system is clear and properly flowing. As winter storms come and go, standing water can pool on top of your asphalt. This erodes the asphalt from the top down, potentially opening up new cracks that can allow water to penetrate. In addition, standing water can become a hazard if it freezes, creating slippery ice. Now is the time to ensure that your drainage system is quickly moving water away from the asphalt.

Winter Emergency Asphalt Repairs

Although proper repairs cannot be performed in the middle of winter, emergency solutions are available. Cold patching is not dependent on the ambient temperature and can serve as a valuable temporary solution until the weather warms up in the spring. If you notice cracks or potholes developing during the winter months, call your asphalt professional for advice as soon as possible.

Winter weather can wreak havoc on asphalt, but taking the time to get prepared now can significantly minimize the damage. Have any existing problems fixed, set up markers to let snow removal experts know where the boundaries, curbs, and islands are and have your asphalt seal coated. Also, make sure that your drainage system is working properly. Should problems arise during the winter, contact your asphalt professional for temporary solutions. With a bit of proactive care and maintenance, your asphalt should not suffer any major damage from winter freezes or spring thaws.

Ready to Get Started?

Are you ready to start your next asphalt project with a team you can count on to do the job right, on time, and on budget? Contact Topwest Asphalt today at 1-800-ASPHALT to discuss your project and schedule an estimate.

Based in Abbotsford, Topwest Asphalt also serves Langley, Chilliwack, Mission, and Maple Ridge. Are you ready to start your next asphalt project with a team you can count on to do the job right, on time, and on budget? We invite you to call Topwest Asphalt today at 1-800-ASPHALT to discuss your project and schedule an estimate. We look forward to working with you!