Ever driven on the roads of Omaha during winter? If yes, then you’ve probably noticed how the asphalt pavement takes a hit when the temperature starts to drop. It’s like the roads have a life of their own, reacting to the cold in interesting, and often troublesome, ways. You see, winter weather doesn’t just affect us humans, it also has a significant impact on infrastructure, particularly asphalt pavements. This is a topic that isn’t often discussed but is crucial to understand, especially for those in charge of maintaining our roadways.
In this article, we’re going to delve into the nitty-gritty of how winter weather affects asphalt pavement in Omaha. We’ll talk about why those pesky potholes seem to multiply during the colder months, how the freeze-thaw cycle can bring about cracks and fissures in the road surface, and even why road salts, though necessary for safety, can be a double-edged sword when it comes to pavement longevity.
But, don’t worry, it’s not all doom and gloom. We’ll also discuss what proactive measures can be taken to lessen the impact of winter on our roads. So, if you’ve ever wondered why your daily commute seems bumpier during those chilly months, or if you’re just a curious soul wanting to learn more about the world around you, read on!
Understanding the Effects of Winter Weather on Asphalt
1. Freeze-Thaw Cycles
When water penetrates the pavement and then freezes, it expands, creating pressure within the pavement structure. As the ice thaws, it leaves behind a void that weakens the pavement and makes it more susceptible to damage, like cracks and potholes. The more frequently these freeze-thaw cycles occur, the greater the potential for pavement damage.
2. Deicing Agents
Deicing agents, such as rock salt or calcium chloride, are commonly used in Omaha to combat ice and snow on pavement surfaces. While these agents can be effective at melting ice and snow, they also contribute to freeze-thaw cycles by lowering the freezing point of water. This, in turn, can increase the frequency of these cycles, further stressing the pavement and possibly causing it to deteriorate.
3. Plowing and Snow Removal
Snow plowing is an essential service during the winter months in Omaha. However, aggressive or improper plowing techniques can scrape or gouge the pavement, causing the surface to wear unevenly or even creating cracks.
Preparation and Maintenance Tips for Winter Weather
1. Repair Damages Before Winter
Before winter arrives, take the time to inspect your pavement for cracks, potholes, or any other signs of wear and tear. Addressing and repairing these issues ahead of the winter season can help minimize the damages caused by freezing temperatures and prevent small issues from turning into significant problems.
Sealcoating is a protective layer applied to asphalt surfaces, which helps shield them from damage caused by the elements, including winter weather. Applying a quality sealcoat to your pavement before winter can help prevent moisture infiltration, slow oxidation, and enhance the overall appearance of your surface.
3. Drainage Improvements
Ensuring proper drainage is vital for preventing water from remaining on your pavement surface and causing freeze-thaw issues during the winter months. Invest in drainage improvements, such as repairing or installing gutters, to ensure water efficiently flows away from your pavement.
4. Choose Appropriate Deicers
Selecting environmentally friendly and pavement-safe deicing products can help reduce the negative impacts of winter weather on your asphalt surfaces. Avoid using rock salt and look for alternatives such as magnesium chloride or calcium magnesium acetate, which are gentler on your pavement and surrounding vegetation.
The Importance of a Reliable Contractor for Winter Asphalt Maintenance
1. Industry Knowledge
A trustworthy and professional contractor with extensive knowledge of Omaha’ unique climate conditions can develop and implement an effective winter pavement maintenance strategy for your property.
2. Comprehensive Maintenance Services
Select a contractor that offers a wide range of pavement maintenance services, including crack sealing, sealcoating, pothole repair, and drainage improvements. This ensures you receive consistent quality and expertise across all maintenance tasks.
3. Quality Materials and Techniques
Partnering with a contractor that uses high-quality materials and industry-leading techniques ensures your pavement receives the best possible care and protection during the winter months.
4. Responsive and Reliable Service
Winter weather conditions can be unpredictable, and it’s essential to have a contractor that’s responsive and ready to address any issues that arise. Choose a contractor with a solid reputation for excellent customer service and prompt response times.
Understanding the Effects of Winter Weather on Omaha’s Asphalt Pavement
The harsh winter weather in Omaha can take a toll on your asphalt pavement. However, by understanding the impact of cold temperatures, ice, and deicing agents, and taking proactive measures to prepare and maintain your pavement, you can minimize the detrimental effects and protect your investment.
Collaborating with a reputable contractor like Economy Asphalt ensures your pavement receives the necessary care and expertise to withstand these challenging weather conditions and remain in top shape for years to come.
Invest in reliable winter maintenance services, and preserve the integrity, safety, and appearance of your asphalt surfaces throughout the winter season and beyond. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our seal coating asphalt services!