Prepare Your Asphalt for Winter Weather

08 November, 17 / Asphalt Repairs, Project Spotlight

Paradise Valley - Liquid Road - Application (30)-webWhen you installed asphalt lots and pathways onto your property, you made a significant investment. Keeping them in top condition is a high priority, and that includes protecting that pavement against the forces of nature. Besides vehicle traffic, gas, and motor oil, weather exposure is a major destructive factor that can break down the upper layers and eventually wreak havoc on sub-grade structures. Don’t let Old Man Winter win! Fight back and be proactive by including some key winterization treatments and repair services in your regular asphalt maintenance plans.

How Does Winter Weather Affect Asphalt?

As you might already know, most solid substances expand when heated and contract when cooled. However, water is the odd man out in the world of chemistry because it expands when frozen.

So how, exactly, does this ruin asphalt? Think about what happens to the roads in your city at the end of each winter. You see more potholes, pitting, and cracking, right? They’re the result of a repeated cycle of freezing and thawing throughout the cold months. When rain, sleet, snow, or ice hits the pavement, some of the moisture penetrates the upper layers and swells when it turns to ice. This dislodges some of the particles in the asphalt, pushing them apart and forming gaps and fissures.

Impacts from Heavy Traffic and Road Salt

Surfaces already affected by the annual freeze-melt cycle can be further weakened by vehicle traffic. You might not be seeing thousands of eighteen wheelers rolling over your lots on a regular basis, but even a couple dozen automobiles weighing between 2 to 4 tons each still have a collective daily impact. On top of that, salt mixtures used to clear away ice also lower the temperatures at which water refreezes, making the destructive freeze-melt cycle worse. Thankfully, Sunland Asphalt has several solutions to counteract these problems and extend the life of your asphalt lots and pathways.

Closing Those Pesky Cracks

There’s a lot going on under the surface of your asphalt. As your lots and roadways age, and after exposure to weather and chemicals, cracks may begin to form. Our crack sealing service stops further deterioration by preventing water from entering existing fissures and reaching deeper aggregate base and subgrade materials below the exterior. We clean the cracks of debris with high-pressure compressed air, then pour sealant inside them. Finally, we complete the process by spreading the sealant onto the surface on either side of each fracture.

Patching and Pothole Repairs

Distressed regions in your pavement can turn into potholes, ruts, sagging, and depressions. You might also observe “alligator cracking,” or a pattern of interlaced fissures forming on the surface. Another common sign of weathering is raveling, or the appearance of open rough spots with dislodged debris. Our technicians use a wide range of tools to address these problems, including patching and replacement. With the remove-and-replace method, we cut out structural breakdowns and fill in the empty space with brand-new hot mixed asphalt. We also use surface patching, which involves applying a layer of thin hot mixed asphalt, to correct minor exterior issues.

Sealcoating Protects Your Lots and Roads

For new and repaired pavement, sealcoating is an effective maintenance treatment. It works by installing a protective barrier against sun exposure, water, motor oil, gasoline and other common factors that can harm asphalt. It also seals in the oils inside your asphalt mix, keeping them from degrading. Another key benefit from sealcoating is the uniform exterior color and smooth appearance after each application. Not only that, it’s easier to clean sand, dirt and other debris from treated surfaces.

Prep Your Pavements for the Deep Freeze

Count on Sunland Asphalt’s expertise and dedication to quality to keep your pavements protected from the wintry onslaught. We have more than four decades of experience providing superior solutions for industrial, commercial, government, education and rental property clients all over the Southwest. With our use of innovative approaches and technologically advanced tools, we deliver new construction, maintenance and repair services tailored to each customer’s needs. See what Sunland Asphalt can do for you! Get in touch with us today by calling one of our regional offices or using our convenient contact form.