When it comes to asphalt and paving maintenance, it pays to be proactive like this client was. With the onset of winter and cold weather looming, freeze and thaw cycles become more frequent, causing deterioration to already damaged entrances, driveways and parking areas, etc. This recently completed project at the New Milford Rifle and Gun Shooting Range is an example of our asphalt paving services for commercial clientele. Working within the constraints of their business being open, we repaved the asphalt with minimal effect on their customer flow.
The forthcoming cold season is extremely hard on asphalt. During the warmer seasons of spring through fall asphalt is flexible, which helps to prevent cracks and potholes from forming. As the temperatures begin to cool, so does asphalt which causes it to become harder and stronger, but the downside is it also causes it to become more brittle. By being more brittle asphalt is susceptible to cracking. However the most damage occurs during the freeze-thaw cycles that asphalt pavements are subjected to.
A freeze-thaw cycle occurs whenever the temperature goes from above freezing (32 F), to below freezing, and then back again. This is considered one freeze-thaw cycle, and Northern New Jersey undergoes a couple of these each year. At an above freezing temperature the rainwater and runoff from melting snow will find it way into the smallest of cracks. Then when the temperature goes below 32 degrees this water begins to freeze and expand, thereby exerting enough pressure to crack the surrounding asphalt and grow. When water freezes it expands about ten percent and can exert up to 30,000 psi as it does so. Then along comes some warmer above freezing temperatures and the cycle begins all over again.
Then there is the damage to the sub-grade to consider. Water beneath the asphalt is meant to be drained away, but during the cold season it can freeze with this sub-grade. The result can be frost heave which happens when water freezes and expands in larger chunks and forces the asphalt above upward. Again when the temperatures climb these chunks of ice start to melt, thereby weakening the base layer and creating a void where they once were. Asphalt traffic from above then compresses these areas and potholes can quickly appear.