While we are just starting the fall season, it won’t be long before we see our first snowflakes. In Northern states like us here in Michigan, the start of winter can often be unpredictable. That is why it is important to be prepared for it as quickly as you can. Just like you winterize your home, landscape, and vehicles, your asphalt needs some prepping for the winter months too.
Clear Your Lot
Asphalt is a very durable surface. It can withstand a lot of punishment, but it’s not bulletproof. What I mean is that no matter how dependable something is, if you leave it exposed to possible dangers then it could be damaged. This is very much the case for debris in your parking lot or asphalt drives. Loose gravel, bolts, pieces of rusted metal from cars, and you if you can think of it, it has probably ended up in a parking lot.
If left alone it probably won’t do anything to your asphalt. The problem with leaving debris like this in the parking lot is that it is not left alone. You have plows, shovels, snow blowers, and de-icing agents that will at some point come in contact with it. A snow plow can grind it into your asphalt at high speed. De-icing chemicals could break the material down allowing it to seep into your asphalt, weakening it. Over the course of a winter, these little things will add up, which may leave you with repairs that need to be made when spring comes.
Fix Any Issues Now
If you have potholes or cracks that need attention and you think they can wait until next spring or summer, then you need to reconsider. Asphalt, as we have established, is a very durable material. If it has existing damage though, it can spread quickly in the cold. One of the reasons that asphalt is so durable is because it is flexible. One of the drawbacks of this is that potholes and cracks will expand and contract during the cold months as we go through numerous freeze and thaw rotations. This will cause any damage that is present to at best get a little worse, or at worst, possibly cause major damage. That is why it is important to fix these issues before winter.
During Winter Plan
Unfortunately, there isn’t much that can be done during the winter months. The cold makes it impossible to use asphalt because of the temperature. Sealcoating is out of the questions, and even traditional crack sealing materials will not work. You can have AquaPatch on hand. It is a permanent repair solution that can be done in wet, dry, warm, or cold condition.
You will also want to keep an eye out for pooling water. If water does not drain properly then it can cause much more damage. Sitting water will freeze and expand into any cracks or potholes. It is also an area you may want to have leveled out the following spring. In the meantime, you can use de-icing, shovels, and squeegees to keep the area clear.
If you have any questions you can always contact your Mid-Michigan’s most reliable asphalt service, B & E Sealcoating.