Three Ways to Perform Emergency Winter Asphalt Repair

Posted by Judson Burdon on February 17
Posted in Asphalt Maintenance

Not only does winter tend to damage your asphalt the most, but the cold weather is often less conducive to repairs. You can keep your parking lot, driveway, or other asphalt in good repair by performing your own emergency winter asphalt repair.

Emergency Winter Asphalt Repair: Why It Matters

Water is one of the most significant contributors to damage in your asphalt. Over winter, that water works its way into any little crack in your asphalt. Then it freezes, during which the water expands and forces the asphalt crack wider.

By performing emergency winter asphalt repair, you can head off some of this damage and preserve your asphalt. That protects your investment and helps it last many more seasons.

Additionally, winter asphalt repair has a safety aspect. No one wants an injury on their property from someone stepping wrong on a crack. If you follow a few asphalt maintenance tips for winter, you can prevent many problems.

Cold Patch Winter Asphalt Repair

Cold patches are an effective winter asphalt repair option regardless of where you live. This choice does not rely on the outside temperature warming up. You can also do it without any special machinery.

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You only need the cold patch material and something to tamp it down with, such as a tamping shovel. First, you'll want to level the crack to a few centimeters using sand. Then you'll add a layer of material, tamp, and add another layer of material.

You should keep repeating the layers of this winter asphalt repair until you have a few centimeters of the material above the crack. For the final tamp, lay a board over the cold patch. Then drive a vehicle back and forth over the board a few times. This motion will seal the emergency asphalt repair.

One of the other nice features is that you do not have to actively avoid stepping on the patch while setting up, making it a good choice for high traffic areas.

Heated Crack Emergency Asphalt Repair

Bonding is key to winter asphalt repairs, and it's one of the general asphalt maintenance tips. Without a good bond between the original asphalt and your patch, you have just created more cracks. To achieve a good bond in winter, you will need to heat the asphalt repair area's edges with a torch.

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Once the sides of the crack are warm, you can add the cold pour crack sealer. You will need a squeegee to level the repair and make sure the sealer enters all the crevices. This type of emergency winter asphalt repair needs a day or two to bond and cure without someone walking on it.

Pothole Repair with an Infrared Machine

Over winter, potholes seem to grow exponentially everywhere. This event makes winter asphalt repair a necessity. Otherwise, they become a more significant hazard to vehicles and pedestrians every time water freezes in them.


An infrared machine is a fast, useful repair tool for asphalt in the winter. The device heats asphalt millings that you then rake into the cracks and smooth out. Done correctly, you do not need further asphalt maintenance tips for potholes in winter.

This winter asphalt repair method requires you not to step on or drive over the area for a day or two to facilitate the curing process.

Using the Right Repair Materials

The right materials make an amazing difference in the adverse conditions of a Canadian winter. One of the big tips for winter asphalt maintenance is using the highest quality materials you can get your hands on.

In general, when you plan to use heat in an asphalt repair, you need it to be over 10 degrees to cure. The materials need the warmth to cure correctly and become the strong repair that supports your asphalt investment.

Cold patch asphalt repair is often the best option through the winter for asphalt repair. It does not require the area to be completely dry, and it does not need the weather to warm up. However, it's easier for water to find a gap in your emergency asphalt repair. The tamping must be perfect for preventing that.

Not sure which materials will give you the best winter asphalt repair? Call (855) 554-4386, and the friendly Action Seal customer service team will help you decide and walk you through the steps for the best DIY repair possible.

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Judson Burdon created his own asphalt maintenance business out of Montreal, Quebec over 20 years ago. He is now President of Action Seal, where he helps contractors and property owners throughout Canada with their asphalt maintenance equipment and supply needs.

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