Ahhhhh, winter. It’s right around the corner. And, in the windy city, that means most road construction crews get some time off. But, pavement never gets a break, figuratively speaking. Instead, it literally breaks…into pieces causing, in some cases, large potholes.
The dreaded pothole is something every Chicago-land driver contends with in winter. But, potholes aren’t limited to Chicago. Cracks in pavement, regardless of geographic location, allow water to seep through the surface to the underlying base. In places that experience typical winter weather, the water inside freezes and thaws several times causing expansion and contraction of cracks. This, in turn, widens cracks and ultimately breaks up the surrounding asphalt. And, before you know it, the potential for slip-and-fall or other injuries exists (not to mention expensive structural remedies—if the damage is not caught and repaired in time).
If you’re reading this in early November, there is some good news. Depending on the geographic location of your sites, it may still be possible to repair cracks. Crack sealing can help prevent the formation of new potholes and patching can repair any existing depressions or damage. For crack sealing, most product manufacturers recommend an ambient air and surface temperature of 40°F or above. If you have existing potholes or widespread cracking, these areas can be filled or patched using premium cold mix asphalt. This product can be applied in temperatures as low as -5°F.
- Walk your parking lot(s) and take note of defects, especially those in high-traffic areas. If you can’t be on site at all of your locations, call us to arrange for an evaluation.
- Isolated cracks that are ¼” to ¾” wide are good candidates for crack sealing and should be repaired as soon as weather conditions permit. However, if you notice rutting, alligator cracking, or potholes, call your preferred paving contractor immediately. (If any areas pose a liability risk for pedestrians or drivers, place traffic cones and/or caution tape on top of or near the area to warn customers of potential danger.)
- When discussing your pavement with a contractor, ask the right questions such as: What is the root cause of this defect? What material do you recommend? How soon can you mobilize a crew? Will someone from your company be on site to oversee the repair(s)? If you have to get several bids, be sure each one specifies the same repair using the same materials so you can compare on an apples-to-apples basis.
Ultimately, there is no debate about it. Winter is coming and, with it, potholes. But, your properties can avoid any unsightly and unsafe depressions with the proper preparation. And, just remember, at Let’s Pave, we do more than fill holes. We fill in! Ready? Let’s Pave…