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5 Tips For Protecting Asphalt Pavement From The Harsh Chicago Winter’s

December 19th, 2018

Asphalt pavement requires proper protection in the winter if you want it to survive the test of time with the harsh Chicago winters. Without the proper protections, snow, water, and freezing cold temperatures can harm your asphalt pavement. Keep your pavement looking the same pre and post-winter with these helpful tips for protecting asphalt during this winter’s Chicago’s weather. Contact Smooth Paving for all your needs.


#1. Make Necessary Asphalt Repairs Before Winter

Any repairs that have not been fixed, will suffer damage throughout winter, leaving you with a bigger problem on your hands come spring. Any cracks or holes in your pavement will take in moisture. All winter this moisture freezes and expands and then thaws and decreases in mass. This puts compression on asphalt and leads to spreading and enlargement of cracks. If too many cracks form, they can all bind together, creating a complicated interconnected network of cracks known as alligator cracking.
Making repairs to cracks while they are still small and readily manageable will save you money and aggravations down the road. Winter provides the perfect opportunity for small cracks to turn into larger cracks that will cost more money in the long run.

Some of the most important pre-winter repairs to make include:

-Fixing potholes so that water doesn’t pool and expand all winter, forming into larger potholes come spring. If potholes are left ignored over winter, they almost always increase in size. If potholes are a repetitive issue, you may want to invest in cold-mix asphalt to fix the problem for a temporary fix.
-Apply sealcoat to your asphalt to provide a layer of protection during winter and summer. This has to be done before winter is too close. The curing process requires temperatures of at least 50 degrees F to properly cure.
-Even if winter is right around the corner, you can still apply crack filling, which will help prevent moisture from infiltrating surfaces and ruining the sub-base.

#2. Clean The Area & Clear Away All Debris

Clean parking lots of all debris before the first snowfall or winter storm. Commercial parking lots benefit from professional cleaning because:

-All debris will be moved so that nothing interferes with the snow removal process.
-Ensures the removal of larger items with the potential to freeze and damage asphalt surfaces over the course of winter.
-During the cleaning process, professionals can alert you to any structural issues or repairs that should be conducted to protect your asphalt this winter.

#3. Fix Any Standing Water

Before the harsh Chicago winter arrives, check over your parking lots to see if there are any areas where water tends to sit. These areas should be repaired before winter comes in order to prevent standing water from turning into ice and causing more issues. Ice is hazardous to the people at your business and it is also damaging to your asphalt even further.

#4. Use Markers To Protect from Snow Plows

The shovel or snowplow is your asphalt’s best friend when it comes to surviving winter after winter. Put out reflective markers to make it clear where your asphalt driveway begins. That way, damaging snow plows are less likely to encroach on your asphalt. When you remove snow, it doesn’t have the chance to melt and turn into standing water. Asphalt left with standing water on the surface is in danger of all kinds of issues; after all, water is asphalt’s greatest enemy. Using a plow to remove snow takes additional knowledge; improper use of a plow can easily result in further damage to preexisting potholes or cracks.

#5. Should You Avoid Deicing Products?

Deicers are commonly used to melt snow, but deicing products are controversial because they are bad for animals, plants and the environment. Due to runoff, we can’t control where they go. Even though deicing salts do not worsen asphalt, research shows that they do lead to increased salinity in our drinking water, lakes, rivers, and other waterways.

We recommend using the shovel and/or snowplow before you reach for the deicers. Running a business, you want to prevent any instance of slipping, which makes it almost impossible not to reach for some type of deicer. Luckily, there are natural deicers on the market so be sure to shop around and be knowledgeable about what you are putting into the environment.

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