Every season brings damage to your asphalt – In the summer, scorching heat and lots of sunlight draws the essential volatile oil out of your asphalt making it more brittle with each passing summer season. Spring often times brings copious amounts of water which can cause washout and raveling of older blacktop. As damaging as this can be, the harshest of seasons for your asphalt is winter – especially in climates that fluctuate at or around freezing. The reason for this is what is called “the freeze/thaw cycle”.
This cycle is detrimental to your asphalt because water that soaks into cracks in your asphalt in above freezing temperatures will freeze and expand when the ground temperature dips below freezing. This cycle is daily in many cases as the ground warms during the day and cools during the night. This constant fluctuation causes your asphalt to heave up and down many times for months – the end result is a big pothole as cars loosen and dislodge the blocks of asphalt.
So as we all thaw out from the winter chill, be sure to check your asphalt to see what kind of damage has occurred. It’s important to get it fixed as quickly as possible to avoid trip hazards and car damage.