How Sub Zero Temperatures Affect Your Parking Lot

How Sub Zero Temperatures Affect Your Parking Lot

Pavement is an important aspect of any property. It helps property managers provide a great impression and serves as a prime attraction for potential buyers when your property is on the market. When it comes to asphalt, there are numerous factors that could affect its longevity; age, climate, conditions and water among them. Nowhere does this ring truer than during cold weather months when your asphalt pavement will be exposed to sub zero temperatures several times throughout the season. The question then arises: how do these severe temperature swings affect my parking lot?

At A&A Paving, we want to ensure property managers and property owners stay informed when it comes to how their asphalt parking lots are affected during different seasons throughout the year in Elgin, IL. In the following sections we lay out exactly how your pavement is affected during sub zero temperatures.

What Damage Is More Likely To Occur With Sub Zero Temperatures?

Cracks are more likely to form with sub zero temperatures if there is already damage on the surface of your asphalt. If your asphalt hasn’t been sealed in quite some time or kept on a routine schedule, it’s at a greater risk of cracking during the winter months when it is exposed to multiple freeze and thaw cycles. This continual expansion and contraction wears down asphalt at an aggressive rate and reduces your parking lot’s longevity. Furthermore, the longer asphalt is in contact with water; the more deterioration is likely to occur.

The next kind of damage you might encounter is called heaving. This is caused by water getting underneath the asphalt into the aggregate. When temperatures drop, water freezes and causes the asphalt to heave upward. The heaving creates gaps that can cause additional damage. This additional damage can even affect structures as well as stop doors from opening and closing properly if your asphalt is in close proximity to the building.

Lastly, an additional type of damage you may see to asphalt is alligator cracking. Named for its resemblance to the scaly reptile skin, this begins with a series of longitudinally cracks and are then connected transversely. This condition indicates the pavement can no longer tolerate the weight of vehicle traffic. If you notice this you will need to replace that section of asphalt entirely. Patching alligator cracking is not a viable long-term solution.

How Can Property Managers Be Proactive?

The layer of snow that could be covering your parking lot now can easily hide the critical first signs of deterioration mentioned above. Without taking the time to properly assess your pavement when the snow is cleared or melts, it can leave you with a lot of surprises when spring arrives. At A&A Paving, we would be glad to assess your pavement and talk about repair and maintenance options. Similarly, we can help you plan a budget for future repairs. You can call us at 630-529-2500 or contact us online to get started.