How Temperature Affects Pavement Cracks in the Northeast

30 Greenwood Lake Turnpike,
Ringwood, NJ 07456


The Seasonal Changes That Cause Pavement Cracks

How Temperature Affects Pavement Cracks in the Northeast

Everyone loves a newly paved parking lot, playground, or roadway. That ‘rich’ dark asphalt pavement, known by such names as ‘pitch,’ ‘macadam,’ ‘blacktop,’ or ‘tarmac,’ is appreciated for its strength, durability, environmentally friendly nature as it's capable of being recycled for future paving projects. Business professionals love asphalt for the curb appeal such brings to their business property investment.

However, even as asphalt is friendly to the environment, the environment is not always pleasant to asphalt. The seasonal temperature fluctuations indicative of autumn-to-winter, winter-to-spring, and spring-to-summer — can bring asphalt to become too dry or too moist, bringing property owners the anguish of seeing cracks develop in their investment.

Cracks, no matter the cause can bring water to seep deep and bring about damage underneath that cause the ‘dreaded’ winter and spring potholes. Be aware of these four seasonal weather changes to help prevent the continual expanding and contracting of the asphalt surface.

Summer Sun

The summer sun's daily heat brings oxidation to the smooth pavement luster, causing surface grayness and dryness, a weak surface, and the asphalt cracks.

Warmer and Colder Days

Autumn and spring provide intermittent warmer and colder days, which expand and contract the pavement structure, causing the inevitable cracking.

Rainy Season

During autumn and spring, heavy rains, coupled with the poor pavement, are the perfect combination to cause drainage to wash away the surface asphalt. The result means the gravel and sand's underlying aggregate will separate.

Freezing and Thawing 

Winter is notorious for the extremes of freezing and thawing cycles, which bring the porous nature of asphalt to react to both the external and internal pressure atop the blacktop and sub-base underneath. Ignoring pavement cracking can result in the dreaded winter and spring potholes and put your business budget 'in the hole' with a significant expense.

Winter, spring, summer, fall — do not negate such 'simple' seasonal maintenance as crack sealing and sealcoating to protect and preserve that rich, dark asphalt pavement — and your business investment! Contact Haskell Paving customer service for other cost-effective maintenance tips for the residential asphalt driveway, business parking lot, playground, or highways and streets.