How to Avoid Potholes in the Pavement This Winter

If you live in an area that’s prone to winter storms, you’ve probably seen the type of damage severe weather can do to paved surfaces. If you’re not protecting your pavement, small holes and cracks can become large potholes overnight. This can cost a small fortune to fix, once it gets out of control. Here are some tips to help you avoid potholes in your pavement.

1.) Keep Pavement Clear

One of the most important ways to protect your pavement is to keep it free of debris. Large pieces can freeze and damage your pavement, especially if they remain there through several freezing and thawing cycles. They can also be easily run over by snowplows and other vehicles, causing new cracks to form.

2.) Shovel Often

Another way to protect your paved surfaces is to keep them free of snow. Regular shoveling keeps snow from melting and creating puddles. Always remember to be gentle when shoveling, so you won’t damage the pavement yourself. For small jobs, a plastic shovel is recommended. If you need to use a plow, take your time and be very careful. Plows can easily get snagged in small potholes and cracks, causing extensive damage.

3.) Avoid Excessive De-Icing

If your pavement was professionally installed, the likelihood of damaging it with salt is probably low. Most professionals use top-quality asphalt to avoid any problems. However, it’s better to clear the snow first and apply the salt sparingly. Keep in mind that there are several alternatives to salt that are often just as effective and far less harmful to your driveway or parking lot.

4.) Fill in Cracks

Cracks are something you should keep an eye out for at all times. When water seeps into them, it freezes and expands the asphalt. When it thaws, the asphalt relaxes again. The more this process repeats, the more brittle the surface becomes. Sealcoating is a popular way to protect asphalt from water, snow and oil. The liquid solution used helps maintain the surface’s current condition, extending its life. Contact a paving contractor like Lakeridge Paving Company for more information.

5.) Avoid Pooling Water

The best way to avoid damage from puddles is to redirect the water elsewhere. A proper drainage system will keep water from settling on the surface, where it can cause cracks. For such a system to work, the driveway has to be constructed at a slope, so the water will follow the designated path.

6.) Fix Small Potholes

Sooner or later, you’ll probably be faced with small potholes despite your best efforts. Oxidation causes asphalt to loosen up and if the base course is damaged, depressions can form in the surface. The reason it’s so important to fix these issues right away is that once water gets beneath the surface, that entire section of pavement may be at risk. Asphalt patches are relatively easy to apply, once you have removed all the loose material from the hole. Just make sure the patch is fully compacted and allowed to dry completely before opening the area to traffic.

Damage from potholes can add up very quickly. You’d be surprised how rapidly an asphalt surface can deteriorate under adverse conditions. While you can’t prevent the next snowstorm from coming through town, these tips can help you save money and add years to the life of your investment.


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