It’s that time of year again where the asphalt pavement on your property is put to the test. It’s no secret that asphalt doesn’t fare well when it gets cold outside, but how does cold weather affect asphalt?
When asphalt pavement freezes in cold temperatures, it becomes brittle and susceptible to damage. The asphalt can crack or break under stress from the weight of vehicles driving on it during freeze-thaw cycles. All of these factors lead to an overall decrease in asphalt durability and lifespan, costing you more money down the road with repairs or replacement costs.
If you want to know more about what is happening to your asphalt pavement during these freezing temperatures, read on!
1. Asphalt Becomes Brittle & Cracks
When asphalt is exposed to extreme cold, it becomes brittle. When asphalt hardens, it loses some of its strength, which can cause cracks in your asphalt surface. This issue will require attention immediately from an asphalt contractor. If not repaired immediately, it will cause more expensive damage over time.
2. Pothole Formation
The most common asphalt pavement damage during cold winter months is pothole formation caused by water infiltration into asphalt pavement due to fluctuating temperatures and freeze-and thawing cycles.
The fluctuating temperatures cause expansion and contraction within asphalt, forcing apart the asphalt surface. The asphalt pavement then has to endure the forces of vehicular traffic on top, which can further damage and crack its surface, allowing more water infiltration.
3. Asphalt Suffers Depressions
Another asphalt pavement problem caused by cold temperatures is depressions on asphalt surfaces. When the snow melts and turns into water, asphalt surfaces become saturated, which causes asphalt to sink in.
4. Asphalt Loses Its Flexibility
In addition, asphalt exposed over a long period to cold weather will lose its flexibility and strength because the asphalt binder starts to degenerate from repeated freezing and thawing cycles.
Flexible asphalt is much better at dealing with changes in temperature than rigid asphalt, so when the temperature drops below freezing, the pavement will often crack because there isn’t enough give in the material.
The Final Word
The best way to prevent asphalt pavement from sustaining permanent damage during cold winter months is by paying attention to weather reports in advance, so you know when temperatures will drop below freezing.
You can also take preventive measures like applying asphalt sealcoating to your asphalt pavement. This will help fill in the cracks and keep water out, preventing ice formation on roads during winter months.
This is especially important if you live in St. Paul, MN, where there is heavy snowfall and low temperatures during the winter months. You can hire asphalt pavement contractors like Doctor Asphalt LLC to help you apply sealcoating and make other asphalt repairs before the cold weather sets in.
Don’t wait until it’s too late! Schedule an appointment today!