- Inspecting your pavement regularly and clearing the snow and ice to prevent damage and maintain safety is essential.
- Cold weather can cause cracks, unevenness, and other problems with the pavement.
- Clear snow or ice promptly, and use de-icing agents sparingly.
- Don’t forget regular pavement maintenance tasks such as power washing and sealing.
One of the most important things you should do before winter is to inspect your pavement and make sure it is prepared for the challenges. Not only will this help keep your employees and customers safe, but it will also prevent damage to your surface.
Whether heavy snowfall or dangerous ice, making sure your pavement is up for the challenge is important.
This blog post discusses the importance of pavement maintenance during the winter. It provides a helpful checklist to ensure your pavement lasts through the season.
How Does the Cold Weather Affect the Pavement?
Cold weather can take a toll on pavement, causing everything from small cracks to complete deterioration. Water is the primary culprit, as it expands when it freezes and exerts significant pressure on the surrounding material. This can cause cracks in the pavement, which become more extensive as vehicles drive over them.
The freeze-thaw cycle can also cause the pavement to heave or rise, creating a bumpy and uneven surface. In extreme cases, the pavement may collapse if the underlying soil is washed away by melting snow or ice.
While repair work can mitigate some damage, it is often only a temporary fix. Over time, cold weather will continue to take its toll on pavement, eventually leading to the need for complete replacement.
Winter Checklist for Your Pavement
Check For Cracks
Cold weather can cause cracks in your pavement that grow wider and deeper with time. Check for any cracks that may have developed over the fall and address them as soon as possible. Cracks left unrepaired can turn into potholes, which can be very costly to fix.
Check for Unevenness
With the freezing and thawing during winter, pavers are not uncommon to settle or heave, resulting in an uneven surface. Use a level to check for areas that seem higher or lower than others. If you find any inconsistencies, take steps to level out your pavement.
Inspect Your Drainage System
Make sure the gutters & downspouts are clear of leaves and debris so that melting snow and ice have a clear path to drain away from your pavement. Clogged gutters can cause water to seep under your pavers, resulting in significant damage.
Clear Away Any Snow and Ice
Snow and ice that are allowed to build up on your pavement can cause severe damage. Clear away any accumulation as soon as possible to prevent lasting damage. If you live in an area with snowfall, consider investing in a snow plow or hiring a professional snow removal service.
Apply De-Icer Sparingly
De-icer is essential for preventing dangerous slips and falls on your pavement, but too much of it can eat away at the surface of your pavers. Use de-icing chemicals sparingly and only when necessary. Choose a safe de-icing agent for asphalt or concrete, such as calcium chloride or magnesium.
Keep An Eye on The Forecast
Be sure to check the weather forecast regularly so you can plan for any significant winter storms headed your way. This will give you time to take precautions, such as clearing away any loose leaves or debris from your gutters ahead of time, so you’re not caught off guard when bad weather hits.
How To Identify Common Problems with the Pavement?
Cracks In the Pavement
One problem that you might see is cracks in the pavement. These cracks can be caused by everything from temperature changes to heavy traffic. To fix them, you’ll need to fill them in with a strong sealant.
Potholes form when water seeps into cracks in the pavement and then freezes. This causes the pavement to expand and contract, weakening the structure and eventually leading to a hole. To fix a pothole, you’ll need to remove the loose debris from the hole and then fill it in with fresh asphalt.
Another issue that might arise is sunken sections of pavement. This can happen when the ground underneath settles or shifts. You’ll need to excavate the area around the sunken section and then fill it with fresh soil or sand.
Stained Or Discolored
You might find that your pavement is stained or discolored. This can be caused by anything from oil leaks to rust stains. You’ll need to use a strong cleaner to remove stains from the pavement.
Sag or Cave In
You might notice that your pavement is starting to sag or cave in. This is usually caused by poor drainage or unstable soil conditions. You’ll need to install drains around the perimeter of your pavement and ensure that any water is directed away from it to prevent sagging.
Awareness of these common problems can help keep your pavement in good condition all winter.
The Benefits of Keeping Your Pavement in Good Condition
- Properly maintained pavement could last many years, providing a safe and stable surface for pedestrians, bicyclists, wheelchair users, and motorists.
- Pavement in good condition is less likely to crack, buckle, or give way under the weight of traffic.
- Well-maintained pavement is easier to keep clean and debris-free, which can clog storm drains and cause flooding.
- Preventing problems with your pavement before they start can save you a great deal of money over time. Explore the asphalt repair cost here.
- Routine cleaning and sealing can extend your pavement’s life and help it resist the effects of weathering.
- An attractive property is more likely to draw visitors and customers than one that appears run-down or neglected.
- Keeping your pavement in good condition sends a message that you take pride in your property and are committed to providing a safe and comfortable environment for everyone who uses it.
Winter weather can be tough on pavements, but with some care, you can keep yours looking great all season long! Use this checklist as a guide to help you inspect your pavement throughout the winter months. By taking these simple steps, you can prevent costly repairs down the road.
Let Surface Solutions take care of all your snow-clearing and pavement maintenance this winter in Cambridge, MD. We have years of experience dealing with harsh winter weather and know how to get the job done quickly and efficiently.