Maintaining asphalt driveways during winter is important. When winter hits, your asphalt driveway is at risk for damage due to the cold weather and freezing precipitation. You can do several things to help protect your driveway from damage during this season. From taking care of cracks to moving snow in a timely manner, these are the steps to take to protect your driveway throughout the winter season.
1. Repair Cracks Promptly
Cracks in an asphalt driveway are problematic because they allow water to seep into the crack. It will then freeze and expand, causing further damage to the structure of the asphalt. Repair any cracks that you notice as quickly a possible to avoid these problems.
2. Avoid Rock Salt
While you want to get rid of ice on your driveway, avoid turning to rock salt. Rock salt can damage your driveway. Because asphalt is porous, salt and water can penetrate beneath it. Rock salt has a melt limit of 25 degrees, and many winter days are far colder than this. Thus, the rock salt will trigger a cycle of thawing then freezing.
This freeze-thaw cycle complete with water seeping into the asphalt damages the material. This creates uneven surfaces, fading, and potholes. Calcium chloride is a better deicer that creates fewer freeze-thaw cycles because it continues working to temperatures of 25 degrees below zero.
3. Use Gutters Well
Make sure your gutters point away from your driveway. When show and ice on your roof melt, it will flow off of your home through the gutters. Diverting this water away from the driveway will prevent it from re-freezing as the temperatures drop.
4. Remove Snow Promptly
After a snow, remove it from the driveway as promptly as you can. Letting snow sit on the driveway increases the risk of the freeze-thaw cycle and the damage it can create. When removing snow, use a plastic shovel, not a metal one, as metal can damage the asphalt. Taking good care of your driveway in the winter is vital. This is the season when most damage is going to occur because of the way water expands when wet. By focusing your efforts on keeping it well-maintained to prevent damage from freezing and thawing water, you will be protecting your investment all season long