Aug 15 How to Winterize Your Asphalt Driveway or Parking Lot
While temperatures are typically still hovering in the mid 80’s lower 90’s here in the Midwest it is about time to start thinking about winterizing different aspects of your home or business. Being proactive and starting preparations early helps alleviate the hassles of doing all of it in the blistering cold Winter months. One important winterization task should be your asphalt driveways.
Issues that can arise when you don’t Winterize your driveway or parking lot
Growing cracks in pavement – Cracks get bigger for a few reasons but the major culprit in the winter comes when water gets inside the cracks, freezes, then expands causing the cracks to grow.
Potholes start to emerge – If your cracks get big enough they’ll eventually start to develop in to potholes. Potholes can be extremely detrimental to car’s tires and suspensions.
Preemptive measures to Winterize your pavement
Check current status of asphalt – Erosion, cracks, and crumbling are all issues that can arise throughout the year asphalt, especially in high traffic area. Add in elements like gas, oil from cars and the process of cracks can add up quicker. Repairing these cracks first should be top priority. You may need to scrub areas of the pavement with detergent and hose off before continuing.
Sealcoating – After all repairs and cleaning has completed it may be a goof idea to apply a sealcoating. Sealcoating’s job is to protect the asphalt below it from harsh weather conditions that would decrease the driveway or parking lot’s life. In reality, to properly Winterize, a sealcoating should be applied every 2-4 years depending on weather conditions.
What to do during the Winter to keep asphalt in good shape
Try to avoid salting as much as possible – Obviously sometimes salting is inevitable especially during the worst of Winters where ice is problematic and can be a liability in commercial settings. But salt is something that can slowly eat away at your asphalt expediting how often you need to repave your driveway. If you can help it try shoveling or plowing your driveway or parking area instead. It’ll preserve some of your pavements life!
Limit large vehicle traffic – Under normal conditions heavy vehicles aren’t an issue because of how asphalt adapts to weight. However, during the Winter the breakdown process can be sped up by heavy loads. As much as possible try and re-route or limit the number of heavy vehicles coming in and out.
Failed to Winterize? We have your back!
If Winter wreaked havoc on your asphalt you have no reason to worry. There is still time to have a professional contractor get your driveway in order before the snow and ice start to fall. From there you can follow these tips to keep your brand spanking new drive sparkling all year long!