Ice and snow are enemies of naturally porous asphalt. As they melt, the water is absorbed into the asphalt, causing it to expand and freeze. This process causes cracks, which invite more water to the party, causing more asphalt deterioration and shortening the lifespan of your driveway.
A new asphalt driveway that hasn’t been seal-coated (which happens a few months after installation) is even more vulnerable. Luckily, there are steps you can take this winter to keep your asphalt fresh and crack free.
Choose Your Shovel Wisely
The more frequently you shovel, the less chance of snow and ice buildup melting into your driveway, causing damage.
A lightweight plastic or rubber-bladed shovel is better for your asphalt than a metal shovel. The sharp and pointed blades of metal shovels are great for picking up snow but can pit and leave marks on your asphalt driveway.
Use a Snow Blower on Your Asphalt Driveway
If you have a snowblower, it’s a better choice than using a shovel and could save you time and a sore back from shoveling. Just make sure the blades and skid plates are set above the surface, so they don’t dig in and damage it.
Better yet, hire a snow blowing service to do the work for you. Ask for references and read reviews to ensure they will care for your driveway as if it were their own.
Know your De-Icers
It’s common in Maryland winters to use rock salt to de-ice roads and driveways. The problem with rock salt is that it’s incredibly damaging to asphalt.
There are two better options than rock salt to care for your asphalt driveway this winter. Calcium Magnesium Acetate will work to -25 degrees Fahrenheit, and Magnesium Chloride will work to 0 degrees Fahrenheit.
Both products are better for your driveway, the environment, and both withstand much colder temperatures than rock salt, which isn’t effective below 10 degrees Fahrenheit.
Sand and cat litter are also options and can provide some much-needed traction.
The Importance of Proper Drainage
Having drainage around your driveway is vital, so that melting ice and snow have a place to send the water away from your asphalt driveway. There should be a slight grade from your driveway into the surrounding earth for proper drainage.
Also, make sure the gutter spouts are pointing away from the driveway. Proper grading is no match for water coming down the spout and could be causing pits and cracks in your asphalt driveway.
Check for Signs of Failure
Pits, cracks, and potholes are a sure sign there is a problem with your asphalt. Maintaining your driveway is essential before the winter or rainy season hits, so you can keep it looking as fresh as the day it was laid.
If you’re not sure what’s causing failures in your asphalt driveway, it’s time to call in the professionals. At 410-ASPHALT, we can come out to assess your driveway and provide a solution to your problems.
Time to Schedule a Sealcoating for Your Asphalt Driveway
Seal-coating is an essential part of the maintenance and care of your asphalt. If you’re planning to have your driveway seal-coated in spring, now is the time to get on the schedule, as spring is when the busy season begins.
Call us today at 410-ASPHALT (410-277-4258) to schedule your seal-coating or driveway repair. No job is too small, and we work directly with homeowners to take care of their home asphalt needs. Contact us today for a free estimate.