Keeping Up With The Cracks: Managing Asphalt Winter Damage

Keeping Up With The Cracks: Managing Asphalt Winter Damage

No asphalt paving contractor in their right minds would undertake a task as risky as hot mix asphalt paving when the temperatures are below freezing. In Tomah, WI, it is pretty much snow season, so if you have defaulted on the asphalt maintenance & repair schedule, then make your peace with what will become of your parking lots, pavement, and driveways.

However, there are a couple of ways to deal with the progressing winter asphalt damage during the cold months. Cleaning the pavement, overlaying, or prepping it for a seal coat is a window long closed, so Pickett’s Paving has the winter variant of paving through problems.

· Avoid Leaving Potholes Un-Patched

Hot mix asphalt needs to be heated to almost 350F, and when applied, it should be at least 220F. If it drops below 185F, the asphalt becomes too stiff to compact into the perfect pavement. All the while, the ambient temperatures need to be at least 55F.

Is any of this possible with the temperature in Tomah right now? No. One can use cold mix asphalt to fill in any asphalt damages like potholes and extensive cracks. Cold mix asphalt needs no heating and coalesces into a strong base until the weather warms up. You can have the cold mix removed to be filled in by HMA for a permanent repair by summer.

· Shovel Instead Of Deicing

Deicers are salts and chemicals that may help reduce the ice’s melting point, but the brine-like surface runoff contaminates the surrounding land and groundwater. Be environmentally responsible and burn a few calories shoveling off snow from your turf. It will keep the asphalt somewhat protected from the ice melt.

· Improvise Drainage

If you manage a parking lot that has developed a drainage problem owing to offset land grading, there will be water and ice melt pooling around a particular section of the lot. If there is no drainage in the depressed pavement section, improvise to protect the pavement from water intrusion damage. You can either install a pump to remove the water or do a fixer-upper by creating a make-shift swale through the curb to drain the site.

· Fill Major Cracks

It might come as a surprise, but cracks wider than a quarter of an inch can be filled in with a rubberized crack filler in winter. The primary requirement is for the cracks to be clean, dry, and routed, whereas the crack filler needs to be molten just right. As long as the task is done correctly, crack fillers are among the fastest setting materials to remediate pavement with dynamic cracks. That will ensure any further pavement distress is arrested until the summer repairs. Gaps far too wide but not enough to count as a pothole are still filled in using a cold patch.

Remember to schedule your asphalt maintenance & repair before average ambient temperatures fall below 50F. But if you miss that window, then follow the advice above to help your pavement survive the freeze. Pickett’s Paving has been around in Tomah, WI, for quite a while with a proven track record in quality asphalt paving, seal coating, & milling.

Get your free estimates today, and don’t forget to get in touch with us for offered services to fix your pavement for the winters!