The winter season is a harsh time on your home’s exterior that will test the durability of your driveway. If you have asphalt then once spring arrives, you’ve probably noticed cracks or deteriorations that weren’t there last fall. To avoid a ruined driveway and the costly repairs that come with it, begin maintaining your asphalt through the winter. To keep your asphalt driveway in tip-top shape throughout winter, there are a couple of things you need to do. Here’s how to winterize your asphalt driveway!
Asphalt Vs. Winter
Asphalt and winter don’t often mix very well. If there are any damages to your driveway, then you’ll have to repair it with cold mix asphalt. This is an issue because, as opposed to the hot mix asphalt, the cold mix is less durable and won’t be a permanent solution. On top of this, trying to schedule asphalt repairs in the winter can be difficult due to how unpredictable the weather is. It’s strongly recommended that you take steps to prepare your driveway in the fall and summer ahead of time. Doing so ensures that you have your best chance of making it through the season without any major deterioration.
Repairing Your Driveway Ahead Of Time
One of the best ways to winterize your asphalt driveway is to repair any cracks or divots it may have. These issues may seem small at first, but if left unchecked, they can grow to be big problems. They not only affect your asphalt’s drivability but can cost you expensive repairs that could’ve been avoided if you had just nipped the problem in the bud. Start filling in the cracks and divots in the summer and fall and don’t leave any damage unchecked.
Sealcoat Your Asphalt
Sealcoating your asphalt is a great and cheap way to help it last through the winter relatively unscathed! It adds a protective layer between your driveway and the elements meaning that they’ll have something shielding them all through the season. Sealcoating also can be done both by a professional or by you. It’s a relatively easy DIY project that can be rewarding and fun.
That said, you should consider hiring a professional if you don’t feel confident in your abilities to get it done. Messing up a seal coat can negate any of the positive effects it could’ve had on your asphalt. Hiring a trusted professional to get the job done is a surefire way of keeping your asphalt safe.
Clear It Of Debris
Another great way to care for your asphalt is by removing all debris before the snow hits. If any stray branch or large stone gets frozen to the ground, you’re likely to experience a few problems this winter. For example, more cracks and potholes will start to form the longer the object can be driven over. Debris can also harm both snow plows and the ground they’re trying to clear of snow. You can also prepare for the winter season by removing any unwanted trees or hedges located near the asphalt to prevent them from falling on top of it.
Along with keeping debris off your driveway is removing snow. Throughout the winter season, it’s imperative that you keep any large amounts of snow off the asphalt as much as possible. This is due to a large amount of weight causing strain on the asphalt resulting in things such as cracks. While it’s obvious that keeping all snow off your asphalt is next to impossible what you should do is simply aim to remove any build-up whenever you can.
You will want to be careful with how you apply salt to a driveway. Although it can quickly melt snow, it can also be damaging to the driveway itself if you are not careful. Despite this, you should not refrain from applying it all together, as letting the snow compact on your asphalt will present the opposite problem. In order to keep you and your driveway safe,
Avoid Using Salt When You Can
Salt is an efficient and easy way to break up and melt the snow and ice whenever it coats your driveway. Sometimes it is necessary to do this if you own commercial or residential property since it is not practical to shovel large parking lot areas. However, if you own a home or small business, you will want to consider avoiding salt on your paved areas. This is because salt and other chemically-based snow removal methods cause the asphalt to break down in the same manner as the snow, just at a slower rate.
So when maintaining your asphalt through the winter, you should try to stick to shoveling and plowing whenever possible. You can also consider applying calcium chloride instead of rock salt. It does the trick while keeping your driveway in good condition.
Be Mindful Of The Water
Water can cause your asphalt to receive a lot of damage over time, especially in the winter months. If you notice that small potholes are starting to form and are pooling water, then you should address it immediately! Failure to fill this pothole in will only lead to a bigger repair being necessary in the future. Preventing water from laying on your driveway can prevent much damage to your asphalt.
Keeping Your Cars In The Garage
Once the winter hits, you should utilize your garage if you have one. It not only keeps your car safe but takes some pressure off of your asphalt during the colder months, especially if you have heavy vehicles like trucks or vans. This means it will not be under the constant strain of compact snow and vehicles. As a bonus, you will not have to worry about de-icing your vehicle in the morning!
Have More Questions?
You can count on Walt’s Paving to complete your residential or commercial paving project in an efficient and timely manner. We have over 40 years of experience paving asphalt driveways, making asphalt repairs, and seal coating asphalt. We are located in Osceola, IN and service homeowners and businesses within 50 miles of Elkhart, IN. If you have any further questions regarding our services, do not hesitate to contact us today.