Spring is here, and the effects of the winter season are increasingly noticeable due to the changes in freezing and thawing on the pavement. Attempts to tackle the temperature changes and snowy season with commercial-grade rock salt which degrade the protective coating of asphalt and concrete can cause quite a headache for building managers in residential properties.

As building managers begin property inspection, they note the necessary repairs for winter damage as they make their rounds through the community. The spring season is a time for renewal and a fresh look, so being able to properly landscape around the building is of utmost importance.

While it may be difficult to spot the problems 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 building has ravelling is to inspect any concentrated areas of loose gravel on your driveway or parking area.

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 them 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.


Turf damage can be caused by shovelling, plowing, winter salting, and chemical treatments. Trees and shrubs will also look shrivelled or diseased, a possible indication that a limb may detach and injure someone. Looking for tripping hazards and other damage such as lifted concrete, cracks, potholes, and crumbling slabs is also important during a thorough inspection. This better prepares for spring landscaping for beautiful plants and flowers throughout your building.


Lastly, storm sewers take much of the surface storm during the winter storms to prevent flooding. Because of this, the sewers become clogged with debris and develop adjacent sinkholes. The combination of salt, freezing to thawing temperatures, and heavy traffic are all factors. This poses a huge liability and you will need a reliable contractor to evaluate how severe the sinkhole damage is to provide repair options.

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.

Property management and boards should remember that we are in the middle of a pandemic, and there might be restrictions on which services are permitted under Covid-19 rules & regulations, and  that also due to the pandemic, landscaping companies might be experiencing work backlog and/or staff shortage, so it’s advisable that they book and make arrangements as early as possible.

Friday March 19, 2021