Winter is a season that many look forward to. But while many view it as a time of family and celebration, business and property owners are concerned about the damage that the cold weather can do. One such area that’s often impacted by winter weather is asphalt. But how does this happen, and why? Here are six reasons why cold weather causes damage to asphalt.
1. The Asphalt Contracts With Weather Fluctuations
Extremely cold weather can do a number on asphalt, causing the surface to tighten and contract once the weather starts to warm up. When this happens, cracks start to form and expand, which can cause further issues down the road. It’s important to take preemptive measures to prevent this from happening as much as you possible can.
2. Frozen Ice Splits the Ground
If you haven’t taken the time to properly seal the asphalt, water will naturally make its way into the existing cracks and freeze. Once it does freeze, it can start to expand and increase the size of the cracks in the surface. These cracks get worse over time with further cold weather and use.
3. Frozen Water Builds Up in Certain Areas
If there are areas where the asphalt is significantly worn, water makes its way underneath, causing greater disturbances under the ground that make it uneven, worn down, and potentially dangerous to those driving around.
4. Thawing and Moisture Deteriorate the Asphalt
While water underneath or between asphalt is a problem, don’t think that water that stays above the surface can’t be equally problematic. Water that’s allowed to thaw and settle in puddles can erode asphalt in a relatively short period of time. There needs to be proper drainage and sealant to prevent this from happening.
5. It Causes Raveling
Raveling is a term that refers to the process of aggregate coming off of the surface of the asphalt. This results in an uneven surface that’s even easier to damage moving forward. In the case of raveling, the only thing you can do is remove the affected area and patch it up or apply an overlay, which is an expensive process that could have been avoided with proper oversight and care.
6. Asphalt Could Start Rutting
Rutting is another common issue caused by cold weather. Rutting happens when tires start to leave a sunken impression on the asphalt, which indicates that the asphalt itself has become too soft. There are a number of reasons why this could happen, including too much traffic, heavy loads, and water damage throughout the colder seasons caused by poor drainage.
Asphalt faces a number of threats during cold weather that can be damaging and costly. Fortunately, you don’t have to let the cold weather wreak havoc on your asphalt. If you’re tired of having to make repairs once winter ends and spring rolls around, analyze the six reasons for cold weather damage to asphalt provided above and find the right solutions to make sure that your asphalt is protected throughout the year.