Although colder temperatures can negatively impact your asphalt parking lot, that is not the only thing you should be worried about. The freeze-thaw cycle causes the asphalt to contract and expand as the temperature rises and falls by a few degrees, thereby causing cracks.
Additionally, snow and ice can cause pools of water to form as they begin melting. Once the temperatures fall again, this water freezes and expand, thereby expanding any cracks and potholes on your parking lot.
It is therefore important to protect your parking lot using these helpful tips.
Clean Your Parking Lot Early
A thorough cleaning of your parking lot before the snow begins to fall is important for two reasons. First, it helps you see any cracks and potholes you should be aware of and that you should repair.
Second, it removes debris that can freeze on the surface and cause damage to the parking lot. In addition, large debris can cause problems when you try to shovel the snow and ice or even damage snowploughs.
Fill Cracks and Use Sealcoating
Sealcoating provides an extra layer of protection to your parking lot. However, it is important to do it early because it requires about 50 degrees to cure properly. Sealcoating also fills any cracks so that they do not become a problem when winter passes.
Repair Potholes as Soon as You Can
Repairing potholes as winter approaches or as temperatures begin to fall can be tricky, especially if you are not trained to do so.
However, because extreme weather can cause severe parking lot breakdown or even make small issues worse, it is important to check for breakdown regularly and repair potholes as soon as you can. Doing this ensures they do not become larger, thereby causing even bigger problems.
As you repair the pot holesor have a professional do it for you, it is also important to check if there are any pools of water in the parking lot. These puddles will freeze during winter, putting pressure on the asphalt and causing it to crack.
If you shovel the snow regularly, you reduce the chances of small water pools appearing as the snow melts and thaws. Although it will not be possible to remove all the snow, it will reduce the chances of it freezing and cracking the asphalt.
Think About a Salting Mixture
Many people use salt to melt snow and remove it from their parking lots. While this is great for the traffic on the lot, it is not so good for the environment around it.
The salt can end up in waterways as it is swept up by runoff. The salt can affect plant and animal life around the parking lot, which is why it is advisable to use a mixture of salt and sand.
The sand ensures you use a lot less salt than you would otherwise, and offers additional traction. Also, you get to protect the environment from the runoff.
Preparing your parking lot for the winter is crucial. Small problems that you ignore now can become bigger problems as the winter passes. So, take the necessary steps to prepare your parking lot for the winter and you will have an undamaged one in the summer.