Wintertime can be a tough time on asphalt, especially new asphalt due to its porous nature. When we say that asphalt is porous, it means that it can absorb some water from the environment. As water enters small cracks in your paving, it then has the opportunity to freeze and expand. As water expands, it can create cracks or make already existing cracks develop further. However, you can help prevent any further damage to your asphalt by caring for it properly. Today Capital Paving & Sealcoating is here to share with you our winter care tips for your asphalt driveway.
Avoid Metal Shovels
As snow and ice accumulate on your driveway, it does need to be removed, but if you are going to shovel it yourself, avoid using a metal shovel. Metal shovels can scratch and damage the top layer of your asphalt or create divots that can spread into cracks.
We recommend you use a lightweight plastic shovel and shovel early to prevent the snow or ice from building up into thick layers — also, shovel from a low angle instead of a steep angle to avoid damage.
Use De-Icing Products Sparingly
De-icing products can contain a large number of chemicals that can damage your asphalt driveway along with the environment. If you do need to use a de-icing product, avoid using rock salt because it has been proven to damage the surface of the asphalt.
Instead, Captial Paving & Sealcoating suggests using magnesium chloride or calcium magnesium acetate, which are safer and which work effectively down to negative 25 degrees Fahrenheit.
Hire a Snow Removal Service
If you do not have time to remove snow and ice from your driveway or prefer not to have to do it yourself, hire someone to do it for you. A professional will also know what types of de-icer are appropriate for your driveway and will even know how to treat it without damaging the surface.
Hiring a professional service will also ensure that the snow and ice are quickly removed because they can use plows attached to vehicles or other large equipment. We recommend that you discuss with them that they use their blades at ¼ inch above the surface of your asphalt to prevent damage.
Don’t hire just anyone though, instead talk to friends and neighbors to find someone reputable and ask for local references.
Clear All Debris
One of the most straightforward solutions to help your driveway stay clear and thaw faster is to be proactive about debris. Throughout the autumn months, it is common for debris such as fallen leaves, limbs, needles, and other stuff to collect on the surface of your drive. All of which will collect moisture and freeze when the temperatures drop. Debris on your driveway also prevents the sun from penetrating the surface and will result in ice staying longer. Keeping your driveway clear of trash is a simple solution to avoid the buildup of ice and snow.
Know the Signs of Asphalt Failure
Inspect your driveway often during the winter and take note of any areas where small cracks or potholes are forming. A newly laid driveway should not show any of these signs, and if they are showing up, you could be maintaining it incorrectly. If there are already cracks and divots on your existing drive, pay attention to them because they can be treated in the spring.
Preventative Maintenance with Sealcoating
As soon as your driveway is ready after it has initially been installed, or every three to five years if you have existing asphalt, get it seal coated. Sealcoating is the best preventative maintenance for the colder months. It fills in small areas of cracking and provides a barrier against snow and ice. However, seal coating has to be applied when it is warmer.
If you are noticing issues with your asphalt driveway, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local paving contractor. Here at Capital Paving & Sealcoating, we always offer free estimates, and the earlier we know about your issue, the better! We provide excellent service and help you maintain your asphalt investment, so don’t wait to contact us today.