Why does asphalt take such a beating in New England?

Jun 22, 2023

Asphalt surfaces in New England often face challenging conditions that contribute to their wear and tear. Several factors contribute to the beating that asphalt takes in this region:

  1. Freeze-thaw cycles: New England experiences significant temperature fluctuations throughout the year, with cold winters and hot summers. These cycles of freezing and thawing can cause the expansion and contraction of water within the pavement, leading to cracks and pavement deterioration.

  2. Harsh winters: The region is known for its harsh winter weather, including heavy snowfall, ice, and the use of deicing chemicals. Snow plows and snow removal equipment can also put stress on the asphalt surface, leading to damage and accelerated wear.

  3. Salt and deicing chemicals: To combat icy conditions, road crews often use salt and deicing chemicals. While these substances help improve safety, they can have corrosive effects on asphalt surfaces over time. They can penetrate the pavement, weaken its structure, and contribute to cracking and pothole formation.

  4. Moisture: New England receives a significant amount of rainfall throughout the year. Water infiltration through cracks and porous areas of the pavement can lead to erosion, weakening the asphalt’s base and sub-base layers.

  5. Heavy traffic: Major cities in New England, such as Boston, have high traffic volumes. Frequent vehicle usage, combined with heavy trucks, can exert significant stress on the asphalt surface, causing it to deteriorate more rapidly.

Given these challenging conditions, regular maintenance and repair of asphalt surfaces are crucial to prolong their lifespan. This includes timely crack sealing, pothole repair, sealcoating, and proper drainage systems to minimize water infiltration and damage. It’s also important to consider the use of quality materials and construction techniques that are specifically designed to withstand the region’s unique climate challenges.

Tim Foley
Phone :(508) 981-0960