How to Spot and Prevent Frost Heave Damage

frost heave damage pavement

Frost heave damage can crack and unsettle your pavement after extreme winter temperatures.

After enduring months of temperatures that yo-yo between freezing and cool, property managers in Maryland may be spotting the effects of frost heave and freeze-thaw cycles on their parking lots and sidewalks. It’s essential to understand what frost heave damage is, as well as the freeze-thaw cycles, in order to prevent or repair the damages that can result from them. Read on to learn about these consequences of winter weather, and how to spot them on your property. 

How Frost Heave Damage Occurs

Frost heave damage occurs when the pavement or walkway begins to heave, or shift, after enduring freezing weather. Freezing temperatures penetrate the ground and turn any water under the pavement or concrete into ice. When water solidifies into ice, its volume increases. When the temperature goes back above freezing, that ice will melt and produce more water under the pavement. The freezing process also dries any surrounding soil, which will draw water from the frost front. This process can cause the pavement and sidewalk materials to crack or settle unevenly, which will make your pavement surfaces not only very unsafe but unsightly as well. 

How Freeze-Thaw Cycles Impact Your Pavement

A freeze-thaw cycle occurs when the temperatures change from above freezing to below freezing, and then back again. When the temperature is above freezing, rain and snow can seep into small cracks present in the pavement. Once the air dips below freezing, that water will freeze and expand, which will cause those cracks to grow. This cycle of freezing, growing, and melting will continue as the weather fluctuates. 

These drastic temperature changes can alter the depth of the frost front, which helps to create a series of ice lenses with layers of frozen soil. These ice lenses will grow and thrust the ground surface upward, lifting soil and causing large cracks in the pavement. 

Property managers in Maryland are used to fluctuating temperatures, so their pavement is especially susceptible to freeze-thaw damages. 

How to Prevent Frost Heave Damage

Proper pavement installation is a crucial first step in preventing excessive frost heave damages. PTG Enterprises can ensure that your pavement is appropriately installed and regularly maintained by our experienced professionals. If you do experience damages to your pavement after a rocky winter, you can contact PTG for advice on the best method for repairing the affected areas without disrupting your business operations. 

Maintenance You Can Trust from PTG Enterprises

If you want to protect your pavement and ensure it has a long lifespan, choose PTG Enterprises for your community sidewalks, parking lots and pavement maintenance needs. We offer commercial concrete, asphalt, masonry, paving, consultation, and survey report services throughout Baltimore, Harford, Anne Arundel, Howard, and P.G. Counties. If you are interested in hearing how we can help you, contact us online or give us a call at (410) 636-8777. For more tips and tricks, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Flickr.

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