How to Prepare Asphalt Pavement for Winter and Snow

asphalt in the winter

For a wide variety of reasons, asphalt pavement is a durable surface for driveways and roads. It is strong, reliable, and with a little maintenance, can last for decades. This said, it is essential to understand that maintenance is vital, and cannot be neglected. If ignored, asphalt can deteriorate prematurely, making repairs more costly and requiring more complex services for a full restoration.

Seasonal changes are an essential dimension to asphalt pavement maintenance. Here are a few details to consider as the weather gets colder, to make sure your asphalt stays strong through the winter.

Clear All Debris Off Asphalt Before Winter

Keeping your asphalt clean year-round is a good habit, as asphalt performs better when clear, and any structural problems will be more obviously visible on clean asphalt. However, this is particularly important before winter, for a few reasons:

  • Clean asphalt will allow for far easier snow and ice removal throughout the winter months.
  • Removing debris from asphalt before winter will reveal any cracks or other structural issues that should be fixed before snow and ice arrive.
  • Debris that is not removed can freeze and itself damage asphalt over the course of winter.

Leaves, twigs, sticks, and other small debris may not seem like a serious concern for asphalt pavement. But their cumulative presence can add up, and ensuring they are safely cleared before winter can make an important seasonal difference.

Make Any Necessary Repairs

Even while asphalt is a durable and reliable material, the elements can take their toll. This is particularly true in winter, where freezing temperatures can produce a cycle of contraction and expansion of water that can damage asphalt.

This can happen in a few ways. If your asphalt surface has potholes — or even large indentations — water can pool in these locations before freezing temperatures arrive. It can then freeze, expanding the space and contributing to further breakdowns in asphalt. A similar process can happen in cracks, widening them and making them more difficult to repair.

Fortunately, small fixes in asphalt are relatively easy to manage, and can be completed with asphalt cement and sealant. Once repairs are made, sealcoating asphalt is a great way to ensure it continues to stay well-protected from rain, snow, and the elements.

Purchase Winter Supplies

It is also a good idea to stock up on the supplies you will need to keep your asphalt strong and sturdy through winter. Naturally, this includes shovels and snow-blowers — and if applicable, may involve contracting with a snow removal service.

Stocking up on de-icers is also essential, but make sure you purchase a product appropriate to your specific conditions. It is also important to be aware of potential negative environmental effects of de-icers.

Join the Pavement Network Buyer’s Alliance

The Pavement Network Buyer’s Alliance (PNBA) is a group of pavement professionals who collectively leverage purchasing power to ensure the best deals on construction technology and other supplies and programs. Contact CNBA to learn more about the group, and to determine whether becoming a construction partner is the right choice for you and your business.