As with any concrete-containing surface, pavement requires thorough preparation
for the cold season. It is clear that preventative maintenance steps should
be taken before freezing weather arrives. Engrave this rule of thumb in
your memory: the sooner, the better. However, preparation procedures can
be implemented even in the late fall if weather conditions are adequate.
Given heavy snow loads, freezing temperatures, the influence of salt and
water, the winter turns into the most grueling test for asphalt. Rest
assured that all weaknesses of your driveway or parking lot will be revealed
with its advent. With that in mind, it is high time to use our tips to
avoid hidden pitfalls with which the winter is fraught.
REPAIR ALL CRACKS AND POTHOLES
The way you take care of the pavement today is directly related to its
appearance and performance in the upcoming spring. Examine the surface
before it is completely covered in snow. By doing so, you will be able
to identify troublesome spots. All potholes tend to get bigger and bigger
as time goes by. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to handle them
properly and in time. If the pavement suffers from such issues, it is
likely to wreak havoc on car tires and compromise the sub-base integrity.
When water seeps underneath it during the freeze-thaw cycle, the consequences
may be devastating – huge fractures, giant potholes, and alligator
cracking. Timely check-ups and repairs will save you more money in the
APPLY SEALCOATING AGENTS
Apart from pothole elimination, it is recommended to have a parking lot
coated. Asphalt sealers are used to protect pavement against moisture
penetration, oxidation, erosion, and ultraviolet rays. Also, such agents
make your driveway unsusceptible to detrimental gas and oil effects while
minimizing its deterioration. If you are concerned about the appearance
of the parking lot, it is a sealer that will turn it into an eye-pleasing
“invitation” to your retail store, shopping center, office,
or any other business. Keep in mind that the condition of the parking
lot forms the first impression on your potential customers. In addition
to asphalt life expectancy increase, sealcoating will also add to how
it looks. Transforming the run-of-the-mill pavement into a real head turner
may become a useful marketing tool and well worth the investment.
KEEP THE AREA FREE FROM DEBRIS
Another step for pre-winter asphalt maintenance is junk removal. Regardless
of the size, debris can take a toll on the surface and lead to crack development,
especially when being frozen. When it comes to snow plowing, heaps of
different stuff scattered all over the area can stand in the way. That
is why you should make sure your commercial parking lot is not full of debris.
CHECK THE DRAINAGE SYSTEM
Heavy rain and snowfall frequently cause business slowdown. Uneven pavement
surface, along with clogged drains and manholes, may result in undesired
pooling of water. When it freezes over, a driveway becomes impassable
to cars and pedestrians. Fixing this problem will allow you to avoid slipping
while providing your potential customers with safe and comfortable passage.
Before winter comes, make sure your drainage system is properly functioning
to move unwanted water and ice away from the pavement. Alternatively,
you can apply porous asphalt pavements, which are deemed to be the perfect
choice for parking lots. Their primary benefit is allowing water to penetrate
below a sub-base right to the ground. Being the ideal water and ice management
solution, the porous asphalt eliminates the risk of pooling. Such a drainage
system allows a sub-base to retain its integrity. What is more, these
asphalt pavements are designed to last many years while keeping their
draining effects and appearance at the highest level.
DETERMINE WHAT DEICER TO USE
The use of various chemicals is now the most popular method of quickly
managing ice and snow. Because of the unlimited choice, it may be challenging
to find the proper deicer, especially when your parking lot is completely
covered in snow. So, you should examine the pavement and determine what
chemicals to apply before the winter sets in. Although rock salt is budget-friendly
and available, it is not always the best deicer. Every substance has its
pros and cons. For instance, mixing calcium chloride with brine causes
heat release for increased performance, and magnesium chloride is far
superior to rock salt at lower temperatures. For some pavement types,
anti-icing properties of acetates are preferable to keep the business
accessible under the worst weather conditions. To minimize pavement distresses
and impacts of deicing agents, you should be aware of the surface temperature.
This will allow you to choose the most relevant chemical for your pavement
type. Agent amount and concentration are also worth considering to boost
deicing effects. Bear in mind that the winter inevitably entails considerable
challenges. It is up to you to face them with your head held high while
ensuring safety and serviceability of your parking lot or driveway.