How Snow and Ice Affect My Asphalt Parking Lot

How Snow and Ice Affect My Asphalt Parking Lot Paving Grand Rapids

Winter is here, which means you can expect lots of snow to fall between now and the beginning of spring. In the meantime, taking care of your asphalt parking lot during the winter season can mean less damage to your asphalt surface once the snow melts.

Paying for a new parking lot can be expensive, which is why most of the clients we work with at A-1 Asphalt are interested in ways to prolong the life of their asphalt surface.

Keep reading to get a better sense of how winter weather affects asphalt.

Freeze-Thaw Cycle

In West Michigan, the freeze-thaw cycle can be vicious. This is especially true for asphalt parking lots. With each freeze-thaw cycle, the ground expands and contracts which can create cracks and even potholes.

Learn more: Why asphalt driveways pothole in the winter >>

To reduce the amount of damage winter wreaks on your asphalt parking lot, there are a few preventive measures you can take. For example, many business owners consider it a worthwhile investment to hire an asphalt contractor. A professional will have the necessary experience to install a high-quality sub-base for your parking lot.

The sub-base serves as the foundation for your whole parking lot and can prevent cracking during snowy or icy weather patterns.


Professional snowplow drivers will make sure the plow blade is set high enough so that it won’t cause damage to your asphalt parking lot. However, sometimes mistakes are made or a rookie driver can mark up your parking lot. When this happens, you may have a few minor scrapes along the surface of your parking lot. To remedy this, ask us about asphalt sealcoating in the spring.

Salt and Snowmelt Chemicals

During the winter months, the surface of your parking lot can become slippery from ice, hail, or freezing rain. To prevent lawsuits, it is important to make sure that your parking lot is de-iced as much as possible to prevent slip-and-falls and to create safer driving conditions for your customers.

While hot-mix asphalt is great for withstanding salt, the same can’t be said for pavement markings, such as parking lot striping. Salt and snowmelt chemicals can also impact your local waterways and seep into your water table to cause a negative environmental impact.

While it’s important to keep a safe ice-free parking lot for your customers, consider if salt and snowmelt chemicals are necessary the next time you decide to use them.


Snow eventually melts. Without proper drainage, meltwater will pond on the surface of your parking lot. When this happens, the standing water can weaken asphalt and make it more vulnerable to cracks and potholes. We recommend checking your asphalt parking lot for sections of sunken pavement. Otherwise, you could have an unwelcome surprise next spring.

Call A-1 Asphalt Today!

Need to hire an asphalt contractor in Grand Rapids, MI? Call A-1 Asphalt at (800) 871-4401 for your free estimate! Our team would be more than happy to restore the look and function of your asphalt parking lot.