Winter Asphalt Maintenance Tips

Municipalities across Missouri are in the process of planning winter maintenance schedules, which include asphalt and roadways. Before the cold weather hits, start preparing asphalt for snow, ice, and de-icer to avoid costly and disruptive repairs across the community. There are steps, however, that municipal crews can take now and follow throughout the winter to mitigate the risk.

Municipalities should already be preparing asphalt for winter as fall is a great time to inspect asphalt pavement for existing damage or cracks that are easier to fix while the weather is still dry and mild. Once the snowstorms hit, follow a few winter asphalt maintenance tips throughout the season to help prevent the elements from penetrating your asphalt.

Address Small Issues

During a thorough asphalt inspection, look 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 severe issues underneath the layers of asphalt. Even regular everyday use can turn minor damage into a significant 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.” If neglected, this damage could turn into asphalt replacement instead of a simple fix.

Opt for Sealant

Even if the asphalt doesn’t need immediate repairs, it’s a smart idea for municipalities to schedule regular asphalt paving sealcoating. Doing this during the dryer seasons like fall will facilitate maintenance all winter long 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.

Clean It Up

Part of any municipality’s regular maintenance plan should be removing debris like leaves, dirt, and standing water year-round, and that’s especially true during the winter. Any liter on the roadways 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 away from the asphalt. If left unaddressed, these issues can result in the dreaded pothole.

De-Ice the Right Way

It’s easy to go for the rock salt when asphalt gets slippery, but that could be a colossal maintenance mistake for municipalities to make. Rock salt can do more harm than good; it’s corrosive and can damage your asphalt from the inside and outside. Potassium chloride is a better option — get in touch with our team to find out which brands to use and learn which de-icing methods are best.

Fix the Potholes Already

Potholes are small cracks in your asphalt that grew up to be much more expensive, widespread damage. Municipalities need to work quickly to repair potholes that are inevitable 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 municipalities that have areas that see heavy pedestrian foot traffic across asphalt surfaces. 

Pick Asphalt Paving Contractors Wisely

When municipalities choose an asphalt company with experience, the quality of materials and work put in correlate directly with the lifespan of the asphalt. Better work means less time and money towns and communities spend trying to maintain asphalt and working with a contractor you can trust helps tremendously should you have to perform any repairs. Research before making a choice; the cheapest option isn’t always the best for municipal pavement projects.

Get asphalt pavement into shape before the peak of the harsh St. Louis winter. Get municipal asphalt projects built and maintained with military precision. Contact us today to get started!