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Weathering is the process that occurs when rocks and other materials are broken down into smaller pieces. This can be done via the pressures exerted by the weather (rain, hail, sleet, etc), chemical decomposition (due to acids released by lichens or mosses as well as acid rain), oxidation, burrowing or the wear and tear from animals, uplifting caused by the roots of plants, or ice wedging.
Ice wedging occurs when water seeps into cracks of rocks and freezes. As the water freezes, it expands. This causes the cracks in the rocks to sever further. Such weathering can be reduced via the use of salt when it is cold outside. The salt prevents the water from freezing. Alternatively, the cracks of the rock/asphalt/cement could be filled.
Wind barriers are also used to minimize weathering. Sealants are used on surfaces, such as stains on decks, to prevent the decomposition of such materials. Power washing cement or asphalt surfaces, and weeding regularly, will prevent the breaking down of such surfaces from the decomposition induced by acids released by lichens or mosses. Likewise, removing large trees can help to prevent the uplifting of rock or cement caused by the trees' roots.
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