In a typical year, the Kansas City area receives more than 18 inches of snow during the winter months and approximately 39 inches of total precipitation annually. During the summer, daytime highs frequently exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit. However, if you have lived in the area for a few years, you probably know that the weather is unpredictable. The record high stands at 113 degrees, while record lows of 23 degrees below zero have been measured. Freezing temperatures have been recorded in May, September and October. With such drastic seasonal changes, it is no wonder that the weather can play havoc with asphalt pavement.
How Do the Kansas City Seasons Affect Your Asphalt?
What Are the Effects of Kansas City Summers on Asphalt?
The heat can take a toll on virtually everything from cars to air conditioning systems. Summer weather can also cause some damage to your pavement.
1. When it gets hot enough, soft spots can form in asphalt parking lots and streets. Soft asphalt is more easily damaged when vehicle tires — which are also hot — pass across them. The tires can potentially remove chunks of the pavement.
2. The UV rays emitted by the sun are stronger during the summer months. These rays steal moisture from your pavement, making it more brittle and easier to damage. The sun also fades the pavement’s color.
3. Normally, the Kansas City area receives its heaviest rains between May and September. If your pavement is in good condition, rain will not cause much damage. However, if there are open cracks or potholes, the water will flow beneath the pavement and erode its supporting foundation.
What Are the Effects of Kansas City Winters on Asphalt?
Asphalt contractors may not agree on everything related to the industry, but the impact of winter weather is one topic on which there is a consensus. Winter is the hardest month on the pavements in most of the nation’s inland cities.
1. The soil in the Kansas City area tends to contain a significant amount of clay, and clay tends to retain moisture very well. When temperatures drop low enough, the moisture in the soil can freeze and push upward. This is known as ground heave, and it can be sufficient to damage your pavement or its foundation.
2. The water that leaks through potholes or cracks is bad enough for the health of your pavement, but when the trapped water freezes, the damage is magnified significantly. Ice takes up more space than water, so as the ice expands, it can do substantial damage to the pavement and its base. When the ice melts, voids are left that can allow the pavement to sink. These depressed areas are more susceptible to damage from the weight of vehicles passing over them. This is why most potholes appear during the winter and early spring.
3. Even if there is no significant accumulation of snow, ice is likely to develop on your pavement. In the interest of safety, you will likely apply salt or a chemical deicer. Most of the time, deicing agents will not do a lot of damage on their own. However, they help keep water in its liquid state even if the temperature falls below freezing. This means that your pavement can be forced to endure freeze/thaw cycles at all temperatures instead of just those that occur during normal temperature fluctuations.
The best way to protect your asphalt pavement from seasonal weather is to be proactive about your routine parking lot maintenance. Maintaining your asphalt sealcoating and repairing any breaks in the pavement’s surface before extreme weather arrives can help you obtain the best return on your investment in pavement.
At All Pro Asphalt, we specialize in preventive maintenance and repairs for asphalt pavements. Our services include sealcoating, crack repairs, parking lot striping, infrared pothole repairs, concrete work, asphalt paving and asphalt resurfacing. We have an exemplary reputation for delivering exceptional work at reasonable prices. To request your free quote, simply call 816-249-6800 or complete our handy online form.