Although the weather is cooler here in St. Louis, there’s still time before winter hits full-force to start prepping your asphalt for snow, ice, and de-icer. The last thing you need when spring comes around is an unexpected asphalt repair bill. Luckily, there are steps you can take now and throughout the winter to help mitigate that risk.
Asphalt prep for winter can begin as early as late summer and early fall. This is a great time to inspect your asphalt pavement for existing cracks or damage that are easier to fix while the weather is still dry and mild. Once the snowstorms hit, follow a few best practices throughout the season to help prevent the elements from penetrating your asphalt.
Don’t ignore the small things
As you’re inspecting asphalt, look out for damage like cracks or small divots. They may seem benign, but it’s like an open cut: Harsh elements can get into these areas and cause serious issues. Even regular everyday use can turn minor damage into a major headache. Not repairing this damage can affect the substrate of your asphalt as well, and precipitation can erode substrate, leading to a condition we call “alligator cracking” or “concentrated cracking.” Left for long enough, this damage could turn into asphalt replacement instead of a simple fix. Repair these cracks ASAP!
Don’t skip sealant
Even if your asphalt doesn’t need immediate repairs, it’s a wise idea to schedule an appointment to get it sealed. Doing this during the dry season will facilitate maintenance all winter long as well as increase the asphalt’s longevity. Sealant should be applied once every 2-3 years to “refresh” your asphalt and reactivate the layer of protection against harsh weather. Also, applying sealant has the benefit of strengthening asphalt.
Move out the debris & water
Part of your regular maintenance plan should be removing debris like leaves, dirt, and standing water year-round, and that’s especially true during the winter. Anything that’s littering your asphalt when snow falls and the ground freezes will stick and harm the surface, causing unnecessary damage. Standing water can also be problematic when it freezes, so move it off and away from the asphalt. If left unaddressed, these issues can result in the dreaded pothole.
Know how to de-ice asphalt
It’s easy to go for the rock salt when your asphalt gets slippery, but you could be making a huge maintenance mistake. Rock salt can do more harm than good; it’s corrosive and can damage your asphalt from the outside in. Potassium chloride is a better option — get in touch with our team to find out which brands to use and learn which methods of de-icing are best for your asphalt.
Pay attention to potholes
Potholes are small cracks in your asphalt that grew up to be much more expensive, wide-spread damage. Even if you’re maintaining the surface during the winter, everyday wear and tear can contribute to damage spreading and becoming a major repair. Not only are potholes dangerous to vehicles, but they could also present a liability for business owners who see pedestrian foot traffic across asphalt surfaces.
Start with high-quality asphalt
When you choose an asphalt company to complete your project, the quality of materials and work put in correlate directly with the lifespan of the asphalt. Better work means less time and money you spend trying to maintain your asphalt, and working with a contractor you can trust helps tremendously should you have to perform any repairs. Do your research before making a choice; the cheapest option isn’t always the best when it comes to your asphalt.
Ready to get your asphalt into shape before the peak of the harsh St. Louis winter? Get your asphalt project built and maintained with military precision. We work to make a positive difference in people’s lives. Our customers’ properties retain more value with well-kept asphalt, and their tenants and customers can access their properties safely. Let’s get to work!