Signs that Winter Weather is Damaging Asphalt Pavement

With winter weather in full swing, it’s very likely that you’ll start to notice the telltale signs of damage in your asphalt surface. It’s important to have repairs made as quickly as possible in order to avoid more extensive damage from occurring. What follows are some indications that winter weather is damaging your asphalt pavement:

  • Alligator cracks – Just as the name implies, alligator cracks are tiny cracks that form in your asphalt, resulting in a surface that looks almost like the skin of an alligator. This usually occurs to due to water being allowed to sit on the surface for an extended period of time. Once moisture is allowed to soak into the asphalt, the surface begins to weaken and crack.
  • Edge cracks – If you see that cracks have formed along the edge or your asphalt surface, it’s usually because of water expanding as it freezes and causing the pavement to buckle and crack along the edges. Also referred to as “frost heaves,” this type of cracking can occur not only along the edges, but in virtually any area of the pavement and can result in a bumpy, uneven surface.
  • Faded color – When asphalt begins to fade, turning from black to gray in color, it’s typically an indication that constant exposure to the sun has dried out the pavement and caused it to oxidize. This is common in warmer climates, when sun exposure occurs most of the time throughout the year. But it can also happen if the asphalt wasn’t installed correctly. When you see fading like this occurring, it’s a sign that your pavement is susceptible to other damage as well.
  • Potholes – Hopefully, you’ll be able to identify other minor repairs that need to be fixed before potholes begin to form. Once you have one or multiple potholes, you’ll need to contact a paving contractor right away to have the damage repaired. Potholes allow water to quickly seep under the surface of the pavement, and that can mean damage to the sublayers. If potholes aren’t repaired right away, you could end up needing to replace the pavement altogether.

Pay close attention to your asphalt surfaces throughout the cold winter months, and be on the lookout for signs that the colder weather is damaging your pavement. Remember, the sooner you have minor repairs made, the less likely you’ll be to have more extensive, more costly damages down the road. For more information, and to have the condition of your pavement assessed, contact a local reputable paving contractor today.
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