How to Prep Asphalt for Winter Weather

If you’re not already preparing your asphalt surfaces for winter weather in the Greater St. Louis region, you could be making a major mistake! Prep should begin in late summer and early fall, and the process starts with a thorough inspection for any damages like cracks, potholes, or general wear and tear that could be a hazard to vehicles or pedestrians.

Freezing water, snow, and ice can get into these areas and cause serious issues. Even regular daily use can turn minor damage into a significant headache. Not repairing this damage can also affect the substrate of your asphalt, and precipitation can erode the substrate, leading to a condition we call “alligator cracking” or “concentrated cracking.” If neglected, this damage could turn into a total replacement instead of a simple fix. 

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 winter maintenance and 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.

Once the winter weather hits, part of your regular maintenance plan should be removing debris like leaves, dirt, and standing water. When snow falls and the ground freezes, anything littered on your asphalt 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 ignored, these issues can result in the dreaded pothole.

Potholes are small cracks in your asphalt that become much larger and more severe. Even if you’re maintaining the surface during the winter, daily wear and tear can contribute to damage spreading and becoming a major repair. Potholes are dangerous to vehicles and could also present a liability for business owners who see pedestrian foot traffic across asphalt surfaces.

Maintaining your asphalt also means knowing how to make it safer without damaging it. It’s easy to go for rock salt when your asphalt gets slippery, but it can do more harm than good; it’s corrosive and can damage your asphalt from the outside in. Potassium chloride is a better option for deicing.

Although the weather is cooler here in the St. Louis area, there’s still time before winter to prep your asphalt for snow, ice, and de-icer. When spring comes around, the last thing you need is an unexpected asphalt repair bill. Luckily, there are steps you can take now and throughout the winter to help mitigate that risk.

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 spent trying to maintain your asphalt, and working with a contractor you can trust helps tremendously should you have to perform any repairs. Please do your research before making a choice; the cheapest option isn’t always the best one.

Ready to get your asphalt into shape before winter weather hits? Contact us today to get started!

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.