Winter Care Tips to Protect Your Asphalt Driveway: A Comprehensive Guide
During winter, asphalt driveways are exposed to harsh weather conditions that can cause damage and deterioration. To maintain the longevity and appearance of your driveway, it’s crucial to take preventive measures and protect it from freezing temperatures, snow, ice, and other winter-related hazards. In this article, we will provide you with valuable tips on how to effectively protect your asphalt driveway throughout the winter season.
Why is Winter Care Important for Your Asphalt Driveway?
Winter care is crucial for your asphalt driveway due to the potential damage caused by freezing temperatures, ice, snow, and salt. When water seeps into the cracks of the pavement and freezes, it expands, causing the cracks to widen and the surface to deteriorate. Additionally, snowplows and ice melt chemicals can accelerate the degradation process. By implementing proper winter care techniques, you can prevent costly repairs and extend the lifespan of your asphalt driveway.
Clear Snow and Debris Regularly
Regular snow removal is essential to protect your asphalt driveway. Use a snow shovel with a plastic blade or a snowblower to clear the snow. Avoid using metal shovels or sharp tools that may damage the surface. Remove accumulated snow promptly to prevent it from turning into ice. Additionally, clear away any debris, such as branches or leaves, as they can retain moisture and contribute to pavement deterioration. Keeping your driveway clean and free of snow and debris minimizes the risk of damage and prolongs its lifespan.
Seal Cracks and Repair Damage
Before winter arrives, inspect your asphalt driveway for any cracks, potholes, or other damage. These imperfections can worsen during the winter months. Seal cracks using a quality asphalt crack filler, ensuring they are filled and leveled. It is advisable to consult a professional asphalt contractor for larger cracks or potholes for repairs. Taking care of these issues before winter prevents water from seeping into the pavement and causing further deterioration, thus preserving the structural integrity of your driveway.
Protect from Freeze-Thaw Cycles
Freeze-thaw cycles can wreak havoc on your asphalt driveway. When water penetrates the pavement and subsequently freezes and thaws, it can cause cracks and surface damage. To prevent this, apply a quality asphalt sealer before the winter season. The sealer acts as a protective barrier, minimizing water penetration and the potential for freeze-thaw damage. Regular resealing every few years helps maintain the protective layer and prolongs the life of your asphalt driveway.
Avoid Harsh Chemicals
While ice melt chemicals can help melt ice and snow on your driveway, they can also cause damage to the asphalt surface. Avoid harsh chemicals containing ammonium sulfate or ammonium nitrate, as these substances can accelerate asphalt deterioration. Instead, opt for a calcium magnesium acetate (CMA) or potassium chloride-based ice melt product, as they are less harmful to your driveway. Additionally, be cautious when using a snowplow, ensuring it does not scrape or damage the surface.
Regular Maintenance and Professional Inspection
Regular maintenance is important to ensure the health and longevity of your asphalt driveway. Keep the surface clean by sweeping away dirt and debris regularly. Schedule professional inspections and maintenance at least once a year, preferably before winter. An experienced asphalt contractor can identify early signs of damage, apply appropriate treatments, and advise on necessary repairs. By proactively addressing maintenance issues, you can prevent small problems from escalating into costly repairs and ensure your driveway stays in optimal condition.
Winter care is crucial for preserving the integrity and appearance of your asphalt driveway. By following these tips, including regular snow removal, crack sealing, protecting against freeze-thaw cycles, avoiding harsh chemicals, and conducting routine maintenance and inspections; you can keep your driveway in excellent condition throughout the winter season and for years to come. It may be cold outside now but it’s a perfect time to give McDonald & Sons a call so we can discuss getting you on our spring paving and sealcoating schedule!