Why Is Winter the Best Time to Plan for Parking Lot Improvements?

January, 21, 2023 By CASSIDY PAVING 6 min read
Cassidy Paving working on an asphalt maintenance project at the Kenmore MBTA stop in Boston.

Property managers, building owners, commercial developers, and general contractors must keep seasonal changes in mind as they plan their capital improvement projects and property upgrades. After all, you don’t want to start a project that could be negatively affected by inclement weather or present an ongoing stop-start schedule of service. When it comes to asphalt paving in winter, you may already know that projects can be notoriously difficult to complete.

For those in the cold, icy, snowy Northeast United States, winter can be particularly tricky for completing asphalt repairs and repaving. But that doesn’t mean the season needs to be a waste of time. In fact, winter is the perfect opportunity to start planning your asphalt paving projects and getting contractors put into place for speedy service once warmer spring months arrive.

The Importance of Asphalt Maintenance

No matter which areas of your facility are covered in asphalt – from walkways to driveways to parking lots – you want to ensure that each location is safe and usable for the people and vehicles using your grounds. Buckled sidewalks can cause trouble with pedestrian traffic, while cracks or potholes in your parking lot or driveways can mean popped tires for the vehicles using them.

Why is parking lot maintenance important? The answer goes beyond safety and touches on legal implications. Facilities generally must be ADA-compliant, and parking lots are no exception. Having the appropriate handicapped parking spaces, wide enough access aisles, and surfaces that are “firm, stable, and slip-resistant” are all requirements for your property to remain legally sound and accessible for all.

So, you’ll want to keep your asphalted surfaces safe and accessible for anyone utilizing them, and you’ll also want to pay special attention to your bottom line. Allowing your asphalt to reach extreme levels of corrosion and disrepair could cost you exponentially in the long run – in terms of both the downtime and money required for more extensive repairs. It’s best to keep on top of small asphalt repairs and minor resurfacing rather than having to undergo a massive asphalt renovation project such as full depth reconstruction – the replacement of your asphalt.

Asphalt Paving During Winter

All of this begs the question: can you lay asphalt in the winter? Well, this all depends on where you’re located and what types of temperatures and precipitation your site sees. Properties located in southern coastal regions or high desert, as well as those in the warm south or tropical regions, may actually be able to complete asphalt paving projects during the winter months.

But for those facilities located in colder areas with high instances of snow, ice, sleet, hail, or rainfall, asphalt paving may need to wait for more optimal conditions. This is because in order for fresh asphalt to be applied smoothly and settle the right way, it must cool properly. Temperatures that are too cold or even freezing will cause hot asphalt to dry unevenly, meaning that repaving or total replacement may need to happen in the near future. Plus, asphalt cannot be applied to frozen ground at all. Therefore, it’s typically best to wait until temperatures reach 55 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.

Reputable asphalt paving companies will be just as invested in the longevity and lifespan of your asphalt as they are in their bottom line. If an asphalt repair company recommends paving during cold or icy conditions, be wary of working with them. Unless the temperatures and precipitation levels are optimal, you could be looking at wasted time, effort, and money.

Planning Your Asphalt Projects

All of this said, winter makes for an excellent opportunity to plan your asphalt projects. There are multiple phases of planning, and the first few steps can actually be completed during the winter season so you can get started with ease and confidence as warmer weather arrives. It’s best to get the ball rolling on finding, vetting, and booking your asphalt paving company so that the project can start promptly, be appropriately staffed, and end on time and on budget.

First, you’ll want to identify your needs. Take stock of any disrepair or deterioration in your asphalt. Walk your property grounds, and write each occurrence of disrepair down. Next, examine your 2023 budget to determine what projects you have the funds to complete, and prioritize each project accordingly. This may require a little research on your end, in order to find out what kinds of costs you can expect for each type of asphalt repair project.

Finally, you’ll need to make another list – this one comprised of all the knowledgeable, experienced asphalt repair companies in your area. Then, vet them. Check out websites, reviews, and testimonials, conduct interviews with contractors, and compare costs to find the best option for your property. Keep in mind that you may be able to hire an asphalt paving company like Cassidy Paving to conduct an audit of your property and help you determine the level of repair needed for various asphalt damage, as well as provide you with quotes for each type of project.

Other Maintenance to Consider During Winter

Just because you’re focused on planning this time of year doesn’t mean that other winter maintenance should go undone. Indeed, winter is a time to ensure that your roads, parking lots, and walkways are safe for all the foot and vehicle traffic your facility sees daily. Snow removal services are of the utmost importance for your asphalted areas. Car accidents and people slipping on ice can spell disaster for your facility, not to mention the liability concerns associated with these episodes. You’ll want to ensure that shoveling snow, salting sidewalks, and plowing roadways and parking lots are done in a timely manner. Leaving snow or ice on asphalt for too long will eventually lead to water intrusion as temperatures rise. This freeze-thaw cycle can wreak havoc on the integrity of not only the asphalt surface but also the underlying foundation. It’s best to remove snow and ice quickly before it causes trouble beyond slips and falls.

That said, be conscious of the risks that even snow removal services can present to your asphalt. Salt can deteriorate your surfaces, and shovels – especially metal ones – can scratch your asphalt and cause pitting. Even snow plows (as well as all heavy machinery) can damage your asphalted areas, causing cracks, buckling, and potholes. So be mindful to hire experts and keep tabs on how the underlying asphalt surfaces are faring when you receive these types of services.

Let’s say your parking lot is simply in need of restriping, rather than a full repair or repaving project. Can you paint parking lines in the winter? The answer is typically a resounding yes – with a few caveats. Generally speaking, parking lot line painting should be done when temperatures are 45 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. However, line painting can still be done in chilly temperatures, as long as they don’t fall below freezing (32 degrees Fahrenheit.) Paint applied in freezing temperatures will generally crack due to the cold surface area on which it is laid.

Work With Cassidy Paving on Your Asphalt Projects This Year

As you’re doing your research and identifying asphalt paving companies with which to partner for your next project, consider the level of expertise and the years of experience each company brings to the table. For property managers, building owners, commercial developers, and general contractors in New England, this is especially important as deep knowledge of winter conditions in the snowy, icy Northeast will be crucial to the success of your project. You don’t want to go with an asphalt paving team that brings minimal experience working in these types of conditions, or you could be getting the wrong recommendations for your property.

Cassidy Paving is headquartered in Haverhill, MA, and we serve clients across various industries throughout Massachusetts and South New Hampshire. Our full-time crew has over 100 years of combined experience and is bonded with full liability and full Workers’ Compensations Insurance. We staff every project with the appropriate resources and use top-of-the-line equipment to get the job done right from the start. Centered in the Northeast, we know winter and we’re happy to assess your asphalt damage and deterioration and make appropriate recommendations for the prioritization and timing of your projects based on your schedule, budget, and seasonal considerations. We work with industrial, commercial, and government clients on everything from small parking lots to major roadways, offering a wide variety of services ranging from simple cut and patch repairs for potholes to full depth reconstruction and brand new paving services.

Cassidy Paving even offers a satisfaction guarantee on all new paving services so you can be confident in our work and the outcomes you’ll see from your asphalt paving projects. Our subject matter experts are used to using the chilly winter months to pre-plan the projects and map out timing. This way, you can get your project funded before spring comes, and we’ll have your facility on our books months in advance.

Don’t wait until every reputable asphalt paving company in the area is fully booked. Contact us today to speak with one of our friendly, helpful representatives and discuss your asphalt paving needs.

Filed Under: Asphalt

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Cassidy Paving Company

Based in Haverhill, MA, Cassidy Paving is a commercial paving company serving southern NH and Massachusetts.

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Mission Statement: Delivering commercial and industrial paving services with courteous service, clear communication, and consistent results.

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