How Snow Affects Asphalt Over Time

Winter weather can cause many different parts of your property to take a beating, including your asphalt driveway or parking lot. Water, ice and snow can damage asphalt in Saratoga Springs, NY, so it’s important to understand how you can protect these surfaces. Some simple preparation and preventative maintenance tips can help ensure your asphalt is still as good as new when the weather warms back up in the springtime.

Freezing and thawing

When it comes to asphalt surfaces, the thawing and refreezing of water that then works its way into cracks is probably the single biggest threat. Every asphalt surface is going to eventually have cracks appear—the material is pliable and versatile, but it isn’t impervious to damage.

These cracks are usually small at first, but they can easily grow bigger, especially in the wintertime. Snow that melts will flow down into the cracks and then refreeze at night, which causes the water to expand and make the crack even bigger. You can protect your asphalt from winter damage in Saratoga Springs, NY by making sure these cracks are properly patched before winter rolls around, as well as by opting for regular sealcoating.

Removal can damage asphalt

Getting rid of snow is the eternal winter struggle here in New York. Whether you opt for a shovel, a snow blower or a plow, everyone works hard all season to keep these surfaces clear for safety’s sake. Unfortunately, this type of work can cause quite a bit of damage to asphalt pavement. The blades of plows especially can easily wear away at your driveway, particularly if the person using the plow is inexperienced. The blade can snag on little bumps and depressions, ripping away pieces of material that then allow even more water in. Take your time when clearing off your driveway—doing the job slowly and carefully is a good way to preserve its useful lifespan.

Be careful with deicers

Deicers are those bagged products you see at the hardware store that promise the immediate melting of snow and ice. They can be laid down with minimal fuss and seemingly take care of your problems right away, so we do see the appeal.

However, while deicers can seem like a miracle product, in the long run, they can actually cause more harm than good to your driveway, walkways or parking lot. Salt will slowly eat away at the integrity of your driveway, so snow can damage asphalt in Saratoga Springs, NY if you’re not taking the time to clear it properly. We’ve found that a mix of sand and salt has the best effects on keeping driveways safe to walk on when things get slippery.

Keeping your driveway cleared is a chore, especially in the wintertime, but it’s a necessary one. Asphalt is a durable material, but it requires care and upkeep to properly keep its shape over the years. Remember that water is its worst enemy, so keeping a solid surface is your best plan of attack. If you find in the spring that damage has been done despite your best efforts, call the team at Asphalt Industries, LLC and let us take a look!