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Where did that pothole come from? This is a common question we have all asked ourselves. Well the answer is, freeze-thaw cycle.

What is a freeze-thaw cycle you ask?

Freeze-thaw cycle occurs when water continually seeps into cracks, freezes and expands, eventually breaking the rock apart.

How often does this happen, when does this happen?

A freeze-thaw cycle is when the temperature fluctuates from above freezing (32 degrees F), to below freezing, and then back to above freezing. This is considered one freeze-thaw cycle, and Northern Ohio experiences several freeze-thaw cycles each year.

 How does this affect my pavement?

When temperatures are above freezing, rainwater or snow melt will make its way into any small crack in the pavement. Then, as temperatures drop below freezing, the water within the cracked pavement begins to freeze and expand, causing the crack to expand and grow as well. Experts have measured the Water expands approximately 10% when frozen. In other words, there is no stopping the freezing water from damaging pavements from the inside out.


Unfortunately, freeze-thaw cycles can do more than expand cracks. Water underneath the pavement is meant to drain away, but during winter it freezes in the base and sub grade materials and no place to go.   This forms Ice Lenses. Ice lenses are bodies of ice formed when moisture, diffused within soil or rock, accumulates in a localized zone. If we have normal winters, we will face several freeze-thaw cycles, if we have an above normal winter, we will see more ice segregation (erosion occurs and has been replaced by ice/water) which is catastrophic to pavement.  


How do I protect my parking lot/my road/ my investment?

A maintenance program is where you start.

  • Fix holes as soon as they open up. (protect that base)

  • Crack seal yearly or every other year

  • Seal coat every two years or depending on wear.


Let one of our friendly estimators come out and evaluate your parking lot, road, driveway  YOUR investment at no charge.

We will include and aerial view of your property and mark  all repair areas in the general location (within reason). If you leave us some notes you don’t have to be there for to evaluate the parking lot. Sometimes we like to go real early in the morning so we can see a empty parking lot and get a good view of what is going on.

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