Winter may be quite damaging to any driveway surface. The freeze-thaw cycles have an impact on the durability of your asphalt paving. Asphalt cracking is caused by a simple fracture or pothole, when ice and snow melt, water collects affecting the compactness of the driveway surface. Furthermore, as water freezes, it expands and causes microscopic potholes and fissures. This causes pressure to build up and fractures to form, causing damage to your driveway surface. As a result, as the temperature drops throughout the winter, the asphalt becomes harder, stronger, and more brittle. Here are ways to care for your asphalt paving during the harsh weather:
Routinely shovel ice and snow from your pavement
Being proactive works in your favor when it comes to preserving your asphalt paving. When you clean the surface of your driveway of standing water and snow, you avoid further damage from freeze-thaw cycles. If you choose to shovel or plow snow, keep in mind that you are doing it to prevent water damage. As a result, it should be completed before the snow melts. If you would rather employ a professional, look for a local team with the necessary equipment and skills. This will help you to keep your asphalt paving from deteriorating further while saving you time and effort.
When shoveling your asphalt paving it is also vital to keep in mind that the shovel material can have an affect on the surface you are clearing. Metal or bladed plastic shovels appear to be great until you scratch the pavement or break through the ice to hit your susceptible driveway. Metal has the ability to damage the surface of your asphalt paving, allowing snow and ice melt to infiltrate the protective barrier. These chips can gradually evolve into larger fractures and damages, reducing the lifespan of your driveway. To combat this, rubber-bladed shovels are a suitable substitute for metal shovels since they are almost as durable and effective at snow removal.
Faster and efficient removal with a snow blower
Another method of snow removal and caring for your asphalt driveway during the winter months is the use of a snow blower. They can be quite effective at moving snow and ice off your asphalt paving with little effort and requiring less time to complete when compared to manually shoveling an entire area. A spiraling, revolving blade propels the snow above and to the side. This machine has developed into a range of models and features on the market today, and you can choose one that meets your particular requirements.
The main advantage of utilizing a snow blower is that it comes in small sizes, making it easy to store in confined spaces during the off-season. The snowblower also works at ground level. As a result, even when running the device, the person behind it can see everything around it. It has hands-on control, so you receive extra safety measures and can be certain that no unexpected accidents will occur when plowing the snow. Snow blowing is also significantly more efficient than shoveling snow, especially in tight spaces such as sidewalks. Quickly removing snow and ice from your asphalt paving is a primary concern during the harsh winter months which a snow blower can easily handle.
Check for cracks, potholes, and pooling
Visual examinations of your pavement are critical for assessing its condition and implementing preventative actions to guarantee that your asphalt paving lasts its full life. A total repaving of your lot or driveway is far more expensive than making some minor repairs. Visually evaluate your pavement for standing water, potholes, and cracks multiple times a year, especially in the spring. Any of these conditions will indicate that the sealcoat on your asphalt has been weakened, and the longer you wait, the more damage you will sustain. A slightly damaged driveway one spring might be a whole catastrophe the following. However, you can also look for these signs in fall to prep your driveway before the winter season hits. A fully repaired and sealed driveway can withstand the harsh weather.
Good drainage systems are key
A properly built driveway should have a functional drainage system that directs rain or snowmelt away from your driveway. When it snows and quickly melts, you may find pools of standing water in your driveway, indicating that your drainage system is deteriorating. As a result, eroded pockets, potholes, and massive fissures may form. Keep your gutters in mind as well! Gutter spouts should be directed away from your driveway so that snow or rain does not fall on it.
Think twice about applying deicers and salt
Deicers or salts, in general, do not cause direct harm to or deterioration of asphalt. However, there are several unintended consequences that suggest using the salts carefully or avoiding them entirely. Asphalt melts ice and snow considerably more naturally than light-colored concrete. When exposed to high salts or chemically infused deicers, the asphalt’s natural ability to melt ice faster is destroyed. Since asphalt is a darker composition, it may absorb more sunlight and become hotter. This is why melting winter snow works better without deicers and salts. Another potential downside to deicers and salt is that When the snow melts and the salts or deicers run in liquid forms, they seep into the soil and run into storm drains. Eventually, these land into the local water bodies and damage plant and animal life. An alternative to caring for your asphalt paving and helping get rid of ice is the use of sand. Sand not only absorbs sunlight that can further assist in melting snow and ice but sand also adds traction to the surface it is applied on. This can greatly prevent slipping and falling for anyone that walks on your asphalt paving.
Asphalt maintenance is a year-round process. Every season brings with it the possibility of damaging your asphalt driveway or parking lot. However, winter maintenance is especially crucial during the colder months to guarantee that asphalt is safe for use by both cars and pedestrians and is not prone to potholes towards the end of winter. The mentioned asphalt care recommendations can assist you in successfully winterizing your asphalt.