Spring is here, and the effects of the winter season are increasingly noticeable due to the impacts of freezing and thawing on the pavement. Attempts to address icy days over the course of the winter snowy season with commercial-grade rock salt over time degrades the protective coating of asphalt and concrete.  This can cause quite a headache for association managers in residential properties.

 As association managers inspect and assess grounds in the spring, they note the necessary repairs from winter damage. The spring season is a time for renewal and a fresh look, so sprucing things up around the property and making needed repairs is important.

While it may be difficult to spot the winter damage at a glance, here is a list of the most common problems to look for:


When water gets underneath asphalt, it creates a material called aggregate, which causes heaving. Heaving is a difficult problem to tackle because it creates gaps that cause additional damage to pavement and building structures. At its most intense, it can prevent doors from opening and closing properly.


Raveling occurs when water seeps into pavement due to thawing and creates tiny holes. When unsealed, asphalt can absorb water like a sponge. When the water freezes, it can penetrate inside of the cracks and cause a mixture of little stones and sand to loosen quickly. An easy way to determine if your community has raveling is to inspect any concentrated areas of loose gravel on driveways or parking areas.

Open Cracking

Open cracking is a sign that water has leaked further down into your asphalt to the point where the base underneath is likely wet. This occurs because of continuous freezing and thawing. One of the most important things to address open cracking is to inspect and fix cracks when they are at their smallest before they form into big potholes.

Alligator Cracking

This interesting name comes from cracking that resembles scaly alligator skin, where clusters of cracks form a crisscross pattern. When identified, it is not enough to put a Band-Aid solution on it, such as solely patching the alligator cracking. The cracks will need to be replaced entirely with new asphalt because the pavement will no longer able to endure heavyweight from car traffic. Thus, it is also essential that these cracks are identified immediately to ensure timely fixes.


When raised pavements are created from the expanded frozen water underneath it and continuous traffic makes a depression on the floor, this creates potholes. Potholes come in different shapes, sizes, and can usually be found on street roads. Potholes can a huge danger to tires and even small pets.

How Do I Ensure Inspections and Renovations Are Done Correctly?

Conducting inspections is one thing, but renovating is left to the professionals. Do not be afraid to ask for references, or to see examples of previous work; preferably, 2-3 years old pictures to see how the renovations are holding up. Do not sweep things under the rug and get on any pavement problems quickly. The longer you wait, the more you risk security measures for your community, not to mention a more costly price tag in the future.

Friday March 19, 2021