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What Does Snow Do to Asphalt?

Snowy Asphalt Driveway Being Shoveled

Asphalt, although durable and the preferred paving material in Pittsburgh due to its ability to withstand colder temperatures, can succumb to the effects of winter weather if proper care is not taken.

Between the continuous freeze/thaw cycles, your asphalt surface undergoes to the scraping of snowplows, snow can wreak havoc on your asphalt parking lots, roadways and driveways.  Understanding the following effects snow can have on your asphalt will help you avoid problems once spring rolls around.

Freezing & Thawing

Hiring a reputable asphalt paving company, like RoadStar Paving, to properly design and install your asphalt surface is the first step to resisting damage from freezing and thawing during the winter months.  Secondly, be sure to properly perform regular maintenance on your Pittsburgh parking lot or driveway, such as repairing any cracks or holes immediately and applying a high-quality sealant every three years.  If not, moisture that seeps through the cracks can do significant damage as the water freezes and thaws beneath the surface.

Use of Deicers

Even though using salt to avoid slippery conditions on parking lots and driveways is a common practice in Pittsburgh, you must also take care of your asphalt surface.  Rock salt and deicing agents like magnesium acetate can wreak havoc on asphalt.  Due to potential surface damage as well as their negative impact on the environment, it is advised that you use deicers sparingly or use safe deicing agents, preferably ones containing magnesium chloride, which are less harsh and do less damage to your investment.

Snow Plows

Parking lot maintenance on your Pittsburgh property is important when it comes to the safety of customers and visitors.  Therefore, having snow removed by commercial or municipal snowplows is a necessity during winter.  Unfortunately, the plows scraping along the asphalt can cause damage, as well as scrape the seal coating off the surface exposing the aggregate underneath.  To rectify, once the snow melts, apply a seal coat to avoid any potential damage from water seeping into surface cracks.

Melting Snow

Due to its ability to absorb heat from the sun, asphalt pavement melts snow and ice quicker than other surfaces.  While this is good for keeping the surface free of snow and ice, it becomes a problem if the water from the melted snow begins to pool on the pavement.  Pooling water can begin to break down the asphalt and allow moisture to seep into and loosen the aggregate. To prevent this from happening, remove snow immediately and regularly.

Maintenance and Care Extends the Life of Asphalt

In order to extend the life of your asphalt surface, regular and preventative maintenance is required, especially before and after a snowfall.  Hiring RoadStar Paving to inspect the condition of your asphalt pavement, maintain its surface and make any needed repairs will save you from costly repairs in the future. Call RoadStar Paving, located outside of Pittsburgh, PA, for parking lot maintenance, asphalt care, and high-quality paving services at 724-759-9068.