Frigid and unpredictable weather can take its toll on asphalt during the winter months. It can start to crack from the constant rise and fall of temperatures. External factors can damage the integrity of asphalt and are essential to consider when maintaining or repairing this material.

Low temperatures

In winter, asphalt tends to contract because of the low temperatures outside. This can cause asphalt to crack, which weakens it and shortens its life expectancy. That is why repairing asphalt in cold weather is not useful for maintaining the surface’s integrity.


Because Toronto experiences such an extreme range of temperatures throughout the year, hot-mix asphalt is commonly used. This type of pavement is designed to withstand constant freezing and thawing and can hold up against deicing compounds like salt. It eliminates the need to repair much of the damage caused by cold weather. Areas that experience mostly hot temperatures throughout the year will also require a different type of asphalt.

Wet conditions

Hail, snow, and freezing rain also come with cold weather in the winter months and can damage asphalt. There is a new type of asphalt called porous asphalt that allows water to run through it. This advancement in asphalt technology makes roads safer to use and is more environmentally-friendly. This type of road can prevent flooding and returns water to local water tables. Porous asphalt can work through up to 70% of precipitation each year, allowing it to be highly functional in damp conditions and better for the environment.

Paving in cold weather

While the method of paving asphalt differs during the cold months than it does during warm months, it is not impossible. An experienced crew will know how to produce ideal results even when conditions outside are not ideal. Asphalt will dry much faster during cold weather months than it does in warm weather months. Wind speed, surface and air temperature all affect how quickly asphalt dries and, as such, affect the amount of time operators have to work with it. There are several tools paving professionals use to estimate how much time they have to work with asphalt in cold temperatures. Such tools include computer software and standardized nomographs.

Preventing damage

The best preventative measure you can take against cold weather damage is by ensuring you seal your asphalt driveway every few years. Doing so will give the surface layer consistent protection from outdoor elements. It limits water from seeping in and shields asphalt from extreme temperatures. You should also be diligent about repairing cracks and holes as soon as they form. A seamless driveway adds curb appeal to your home and is safer for pedestrians and drivers to use. Cracks and holes that are left untreated can get bigger when water gets in and freezes, causing it to expand and making the damage worse.

Mother Nature can take a toll on asphalt, making it unusable because of cracks and potholes. The key to maintaining the integrity of asphalt throughout the seasons is expert advice and proper installation. West York Paving provides quality asphalt maintenance service. Do not wait to repair your asphalt just because the temperature has dropped, call us today for a quote and keep your asphalt in pristine condition.