Autumn has arrived with all of its stunning colors, but quickly nipping at its heels are the winter months. With the arrival of winter, we see a dive in temperatures that can wreak havoc on your driveway if you do not prepare for freezing precipitation. However, don’t worry because Prime Paving & Sealcoating is here to share our tips with you on how to prepare your driveway for winter.
Check for Cracks
Now is the time to inspect your paved drive, not when you are anticipating snowfall or ice. Walk your driveway and take images of it for reference for Spring to compare the changes in your asphalt. This will help you determine if any repairs need to be made when the weather warms up again.
Look for any visible cracks and take action now to repair them.
Seal Visible Cracks
If you see a crack in your pavement, know that over the colder months, it will probably get worse.
Why? Because water takes the path of least resistance and can seep into the tiniest of cracks and settle. As water freezes, it expands regardless of where it is, and with expanding, it will grow any cracks that are already present.
All you have to do to see this process in action is walk around in nature, and you will see large boulders and rocks that have split over time from the repeated freezing and thawing of water. What may appear to be an inconsequential crack in your asphalt can quickly lead to a damaging issue after winter.
You can prevent any further damage by seal coating any cracks you can see now to prevent water from getting into them. A little bit of prevention can go a long way in prolonging the life of your driveway.
Use Ice Melts That are Calcium-Based
When frozen precipitation does fall, such as ice and snow, take care to use an ice melt that will not damage your asphalt.
We recommend using ice melt formulas that are calcium-based. Calcium-based ice melts do little to no damage to your asphalt. Some big-box brands of ice melt contain a harsh mixture of chemicals that can cause damage and deteriorate your pavement prematurely.
Clean Your Driveway and Keep it Clear
Whenever winter weather hits, take the time to clear it as soon as possible and try to keep it clean. If you can keep your drive clear of snow and ice, you will likely prevent damage from occurring.
It is also a good idea to power wash your drive now to clear it of any debris before winter arrives. Washing your drive will remove any accumulated debris such as loose stones, leaves, twigs, and more, which can retain chemicals that can speed up deterioration.
Use Proper Tools When Clearing Your Asphalt
Before snow and ice arrive take the time now also to pull out your snow removal equipment and check it for wear and tear. Chipped shovels can create divots and cracks, so replace them if needed. Furthermore, tune-up your snowblower to make sure it is in proper working order, so it is ready when you need it. Waiting until winter precipitation hits to pull it out and finding it is not working is not a pleasant experience.
Check for Drainage Issues
Finally, check for any drainage issues you may have acquired over the past year. Pools of water are not only detrimental in the winter because of ice but are indicators of more significant problems occurring. Water is the number one enemy of pavement, and if it is left standing and not attended to, you may find yourself spending more out of pocket later. It is easier to repair an issue early rather than waiting for it to become a substantial problem.
If you have any questions or would like some assistance in inspecting and maintaining your asphalt driveway, don’t hesitate to contact us today at Prime Paving & Sealcoating. We will help you with all your paving needs and are always available to answer any questions or concerns. Remember, prevention goes a long way in the winter, so take action today!