While winter in the southeast is milder than other areas of the country, it’s still important to prepare your asphalt before winter takes hold. The coldest temperatures are typically in January and February and cold, wet rains during those months can do a number on your asphalt. Here’s what to check to prepare your asphalt before winter.
1. Check for signs of ground settlement – If your asphalt is settling and becoming uneven or showing cracks, this could mean the ground or foundation under your asphalt needs repairs or replacement. If left alone, asphalt settlement can cause severely uneven surfaces and major cracks. This can also lead to water intrusion and more serious problems later on. If you notice settlement, you’ll want to plan to address it come springtime, knowing that the winter temps and cold rains could make it worse.
2. Check for potholes and cracks – If you have potholes or cracks, it’s important to have those repaired as soon as possible. Winter chill and cold rains can cause cold water seep under your asphalt through potholes and cracks. Water under your pavement layer is not a good thing as it can cause your asphalt to deteriorate and break down. Repair potholes and seal cracks before the coldest and wettest part of winter hits to protect your pavement layer.
3. Check the thickness of your asphalt layer – The thickness of your asphalt layer can be an indicator of how well your asphalt will hold up to the cooler temperatures and chilly rains. If your asphalt layer is two to three inches thick, you should be okay as long as you repair cracks and potholes and aren’t experiencing ground settlement. Ideally, an asphalt layer of five inches or more is best to stand up to the wet and cold winter conditions. Even if your pavement layer is on the thicker side, it’s important to protect it. Consider sealcoating your pavement to help seal small cracks and help protect against water damage.
While our southeastern winters are milder than other regions, that doesn’t mean you can let your guard down when preparing your asphalt for winter. It’s important to check for ground settlement, potholes and cracks and the thickness of your asphalt layer. A layer of Pitch Black sealcoating can also help protect your asphalt from the elements while being safe for the environment.