Asphalt parking lots are common throughout Atlanta and the rest of North Georgia. They are quick to install, economical, and visually appealing. Since Atlanta typically has relatively mild winters, many people assume that wintertime asphalt parking lot paving projects pose no significant issues. Unfortunately, that is not always the case.
What Are the Possible Issues for Asphalt Parking Lot Paving in the Winter?
When many people think about severe winter weather, they often envision blizzards in the northern parts of the country. Granted, Atlanta rarely receives a massive snowfall, but it does get frequent ice storms. Regardless of other issues, a layer of snow or ice on the ground can often be enough to prevent commercial paving projects.
1. To construct an asphalt pavement that will have excellent longevity, drivability, and aesthetics, the paving contractor must compact the mix thoroughly. Compaction must occur before the temperature of the asphalt mix drops below approximately 220 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. If the air or surface temperatures are less than 50 degrees or so, the asphalt mix will lose heat rapidly. Heat loss will be exacerbated by even moderate winds, cloud covers, and high humidity levels. Conversely, heat loss will be slower on a bright, sunny day due to solar radiant flux.
3. Most Atlanta paving companies handle both asphalt resurfacing and new construction projects. Asphalt resurfacing typically requires an Atlanta paving company to place thinner lifts than it would use to build an asphalt pavement. Thinner lifts have less ability to retain their heat, shortening the time available for compaction. At a certain point, it will simply be impossible for the paving contractor’s crew to complete their tasks within the allotted time.
4. Asphalt paving companies usually receive their asphalt mix from local batch plants. The plants ship the mix at temperatures as high as 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Upon arriving at the site, the asphalt mix should have a temperature of at least 275 degrees. Sometimes, the trucks must travel a great distance from the plant to reach the site. If so, during cold weather, it may be impossible to ensure that the mix arrives at a sufficient temperature.
If I Cannot Replace or Resurface My Asphalt Parking Lot Paving, What Should I Do Over the Winter?
Do not simply ignore your parking lot until springtime. Do not give winter a free hand just because your Atlanta paving company cannot provide your asphalt resurfacing or paving.
1. If you have open breaks in your pavement, contact your commercial paving contractor immediately. Asphalt paving companies have access to products that they can use to make temporary repairs in cold weather. Keeping water from entering through these openings can help ensure that additional, more severe damage does not occur before spring.
2. Keep ice and snow from accumulating on your pavement. In addition to making your parking lot safer, you will also be helping to prevent pavement damage. Ask a knowledgeable, trustworthy asphalt paving professional to advise the best, safest products to use. You should also ask when, where, and how to use each product.
3. Be sure to keep drains and gutters clear so that rain and meltwater can flow freely. Clogs can allow water to back up onto your pavement and inflict damage when it freezes.
The Surface Masters, an Atlanta paving contractor, would be happy to assist you in helping your asphalt pavement emerge from the winter in the best condition possible. We offer asphalt paving, crack sealing, asphalt sealcoating, pavement markings, asphalt repairs, and asphalt milling. We also offer concrete services. We have an outstanding reputation for superior customer service, extraordinary craftsmanship, and professional integrity. You can request a free job quote by completing our online form, calling 770-250-6392, or emailing Info@TheSurfaceMasters.com.