The temperatures have finally dropped, and winter is coming soon. As colder months arrive, there are many tasks that we must all complete to prepare our properties for extreme temperatures. However, don’t neglect your driveway during this time. We were recently asked by a proactive customer if you can sealcoat your driveway in the fall months?
Can you sealcoat your driveway in fall?
As a rule of thumb, the seal coating season is coming to an end, but that doesn’t mean it is entirely out of the question. It all depends on where you live and what your nightly temperatures hover around. The curing process of sealcoating needs a nightly temperature of at least 50 degrees.
Another issue with completing a full sealcoat in the autumn is that leaves can fall onto the fresh coat and adhere to it.
What can I do to prepare my driveway for winter?
Although we do not recommend you complete a full sealcoat of your driveway in the fall months, there are still several things that you can do to prepare your asphalt for colder temperatures.
The most important thing you can do to prolong the life of your driveway now is to inspect it for any cracks that it may have and seal them as quickly as possible. While you are checking your driveway, carry a camera with you so you can document any potential issues to compare them in spring.
Why do I need to seal asphalt cracks?
Cracks may start small in nature, but over time they will lead to substantial damage if left untreated.
This is especially true in the winter months when temperatures drop and water freezes. Water is always traveling the path of least resistance and will settle into the most minuscule of areas. A small crack or divot is the perfect place for water to gather then freeze. Naturally, as water freezes, it expands and makes cracks, holes, and divots larger causing further damage.
That is why we recommend sealing cracks and holes even now before winter precipitation begins to fall. Although the time of year has passed for full sealcoating, you can still prevent further damage by being proactive with sealing asphalt cracks and holes now.
Other Tips for Preparing Your Driveway for Winter
Along with sealing any cracks you may find while inspecting your driveway in the fall, there are several other things you can do proactively to protect your asphalt.
We suggest taking the time before it gets any colder outside to power wash your driveway to clear it of any accumulated debris such as leaves, sticks, and other substances. Debris on your driveway can retain harsh chemicals from vehicles that can cause premature breakdown of the binder in your asphalt, thus weakening it. Accumulated debris also makes thawing difficult of snow and ice when it arrives and can make your driveway impassable.
Furthermore, it is always a best practice to pull out any equipment that you use for snow and ice removal and inspect it early. If it is damaged or not working correctly, replace or repair it now, so it does not damage the surface of your asphalt. Here at Capital Paving & Sealcoating, we also recommend that you use an ice melt during the winter that is calcium-based. Calcium is a natural chemical as opposed to other harsher blends that you may find on the market. Don’t just grab the first thing you see because it could cause damage that will have to be repaired later on.
When is the Best Time to Sealcoat Your Asphalt?
Although fall is not the best time to sealcoat springtime is! That is why it is essential to prevent as much damage the cold months can create as possible. However, if you do have damage that has occurred during winter, we can help you repair it in spring.
Fall is a beautiful time of year and a busy one as well but don’t forget being proactive with your driveway can you save you money in the long run. If you need help with inspecting your driveway or need repair work completed before winter sets in contact us today and don’t delay!