Spring thaw occurs in early spring when the temperatures are beginning to rise, and the snow begins to melt. The ice and snow that thaws down from the surface of the pavement get trapped between the pavement and the still frozen soil. The saturated aggregate base and subgrade materials are significantly weakened, and heavier vehicles such as freight vehicles, utility vehicles, school buses, and recycling or garbage vehicles, can cause significantly more damage than usual. The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) estimates that vehicle loads cause five times more damage during the spring thaw than during the summer months.

What Can I Do to Protect My Parking Lot?

Discuss the Routes Taken by Heavier Vehicles

Heavier vehicles routinely using your facilities should be confined to a specified route. This route may deteriorate faster than the rest of the facility, but should prevent damage to other areas.


Utilize “Heavy Duty” Sections at Your Facility

When building or reconstructing the asphalt pavement at your facility, consider the routes and areas utilized by heavier vehicles. These “Heavy Duty” pavement sections should be built thicker (stronger) to resist these heavy loads all year long.

Perform Regular Preventative Maintenance

Be sure to protect your pavement asset by regularly maintaining it. Sealing cracks and filling potholes will prevent water from infiltrating below your pavement and limit the effects of spring thaw.


Review your snow removal policies

Head out to your parking lot and check out the melting snow piles. Where is all of that water going? Is it seeping into the cracks of the pavement, or is it making its way to a storm sewer? Water is a natural enemy of asphalt pavements, and it is best to make sure the drainage around your snow piles is sufficient enough to quickly get the water off of the pavement.



Bituminous Roadways, Inc. is the Twin Cities’ most respected and sought-after pavement company. With more than 70 years in the industry, we provide dependable service and the highest level of quality asphalt paving anywhere. Call us today at 651-686-7001 or complete our request a consultation form. We proudly serve the Twin Cities metro and surrounding areas.