What Cold Weather Does to Your Asphalt

If you have asphalt paving, such as a driveway or basketball court, you need to be wary of the way the cold weather can damage anything asphalt based. If you don’t take care of any problems as quickly as possible, you could end up with nasty potholes and your paving will never be the same again. Here are a few signs that you need to call a professional to maintain your asphalt this winter.

Lightened Color

One of the first signs of impending damage is when the color of your asphalt pavement turns from black to light gray. This usually happens over time when the sun naturally dries out the moisture in the asphalt, but it can also happen if the asphalt was put down incorrectly. Whatever the reason, if your asphalt is not as dark as it once was, you’ll want to call in a professional. You will likely need a new coat of asphalt or fortifications in some areas of the pavement to prevent future issues.

Alligator Cracking

As the name suggests, poor drainage for melting snow can cause your pavement to look just like alligator skin. If there is not a proper drainage path, the moisture will sit on top and soak in overtime, causing the asphalt to weaken and crack. You’ll need a full-depth patch and an assessment from an expert so you can create a better path for draining.

Edge Cracks

If you notice cracks along the edge of your driveway where you seldom drive, that’s a pretty good indicator of frost heaves. Frost heaves occur when water gets into the asphalt and expands when it freezes, causing cracks and bumps. You’ll want to first patch the cracks, then establish better drainage to prevent future cracks.


You might begin to notice ruts and dents in your pavement that often occur from moisture infiltration. These ruts will need to be repaired for a smoother surface. If not fixed quickly, the ruts will evolve into a pothole. You’ll also want to have a professional check for proper drainage.


Upheaval or swelling is a sure sign of frost heaves. Not only does it make for uncomfortable driving and an extremely bumpy surface, but it will also extend cracks all over your pavement, causing quicker deterioration. Call a specialist to do a full-depth patch before the problem spreads.

If these issues are not dealt with in a timely manner, you will likely end up doing a total asphalt overhaul, which would be costly and time consuming. Watch for the signs first, and then call us to repair any damage today.