How To Repair Your Asphalt's Surface Damage To Prepare It For Winter

Posted on: 29 November 2017

Your asphalt pavement needs continual maintenance to keep it durable and lasting as long as possible. As fall arrives, you should take some time to inspect and prepare your asphalt for winter's harsh weather conditions and freezing temperatures. Here are some recommendations to help deal with common asphalt damage to prepare it for the upcoming winter season.

Inspect for Damage

Asphalt can begin to show signs of damage in the form of pattern cracking over its surface. Pattern cracking appears as a web-like pattern that can look like the skin of an alligator, and is usually caused by a sub base foundation that has not held up as it should.

Another type of damage appears as sunken spots on your asphalt, which usually collect water after wet weather. These puddles allow the water to seep into the asphalt, causing further damage. During the winter when these sunken spots collect snow and ice melt, the water permeates any cracks and freezes when the temperature drops, causing frost-heave damage.

It is recommended to repair both types of damage before winter arrives, and if you have knowledge and experience in completing the work, you can handle it yourself. Otherwise, you can hire a professional asphalt company to remedy the problem. Be sure they include replacement of the sub base material in their estimate so the problem can be fully remedied.

Complete Repairs

When the materials beneath the asphalt shift, settle, or erode from moisture, the top asphalt layer does not have the proper support and will sink and crack. Remove the damaged layer of asphalt with a shovel, pry bar, or use a circular saw with a masonry blade to cut it from the surrounding asphalt.

Remove any degraded and failed sub base material, such as soil or sand, and replace it with several inches of compacted, angular gravel. This layer of gravel provides a solid foundation for the asphalt and prevents further deterioration.

When you are ready to apply new asphalt, depending on the size of the repair area, you can use a cold mix asphalt patch or order a load of hot mix asphalt from an asphalt company. You can find cold mix asphalt at most home improvement stores. Apply the new asphalt onto the sub base material, compacting it with a compactor roller or a hand tamp.

For more information about inspecting, caring for, and repairing your asphalt, talk with a company such as A Thru Z Construction.