Harsh winter weather can take a toll on your asphalt parking lot. However, when you care for your asphalt pavement properly during the winter months, you can limit the damage this weather inflicts and prevent the need for extensive asphalt pavement repairs in the spring. Proper winter asphalt parking lot maintenance can also help keep your parking lot safer for your patrons to walk and drive on all winter long and preserve its attractive appearance.
Read on to learn four asphalt parking lot winter maintenance tips
- Choose an Asphalt-Friendly Deicer
Keeping your pavement free from ice is important to help prevent patron slip-and-fall accidents and ensure customers can drive in your lot safely during the cold, snowy winter months. Sprinkling a chemical deicer on your pavement is a good way to prevent ice accumulation and melt slippery ice that does develop. However, some deicers can damage asphalt, so choose your asphalt pavement deicer carefully.
Avoid using rock salt to melt ice on your asphalt pavement. The use of rock salt can speed up asphalt deterioration caused by the freeze-thaw cycles of winter because ice and snow melted with rock salt quickly refreeze when temperatures drop below 25 degrees F.
A better deicer to use on asphalt pavement is calcium chloride. Ice and snow melted with this deicer will remain in liquid form unless temperatures drop below -25 degrees F. When melted ice does not refreeze as often, the damage it can inflict on your asphalt is limited.
- Remove Snow From Your Lot Carefully
Many inches of snow can fall during an Ohio winter, making snow removal an important part of maintaining your asphalt parking lot. However, you should always remove snow from your parking lot carefully to avoid the damage that some snow removal tools can inflict on pavement.
Whether you hire a snow removal company to plow your parking lot after it snows or plow the parking lot yourself, ensure the edge of the metal plow is covered with a rubber or polyurethane cutting edge to avoid the damage that can occur when a metal plow edge scrapes against your asphalt. Ideally, the plow blade should be set to about 1/2-inch above the pavement to further prevent damage.
- Fill Cracks Promptly
Even if you fill all cracks in your asphalt parking lot before winter arrives, as you should, new cracks can develop mid-winter as the freeze-thaw cycles take a toll on your pavement. Any small pavement cracks that were not detectable before winter arrived can also enlarge as water that enters them freezes and exerts pressure on the crack edges.
While it is a common misconception that asphalt cracks should not be filled mid-winter, the truth is that they can and should be filled during the winter when the weather allows. Hot-pour asphalt crack sealants can be used to fill cracks during the cold winter months when the weather is dry.
When you fill a crack that develops mid-winter instead of waiting until spring to fill it, you lessen the chance of the crack expanding to the point where it endangers the structural integrity of the asphalt. Once a crack becomes extremely large, more extensive asphalt repairs are often needed to restore pavement strength.
- Have Potholes Patched as Needed
You should inspect your asphalt parking lot for small potholes on a regular basis during the winter and have them patched as soon as you notice them because potholes pose dangers to your patrons and their vehicles. A small pothole can also become a large one very quickly during the winter as the freeze-thaw cycle takes a toll on the cracked, deteriorated asphalt surrounding the pothole. Patching a pothole prevents its enlargement.
Cold asphalt patches can be used to fill potholes during the midst of even harsh, wet winters to help keep your patrons safe and prevent enlargement of the pothole.
Proper winter maintenance of your asphalt parking lot can help limit the need for costly repairs when springtime arrives, preserve its attractive appearance, and help keep patrons safe. Contact the asphalt pavement experts at Pinnacle Paving & Sealing for all of your asphalt repair and maintenance needs today.