For many parts of the U.S., cold weather is on its way. More than 90% of American parking areas are surfaced with asphalt paving, which means that most homeowners use it on their driveways every day. Many of us think we know how to properly care for our asphalt paving in fall and winter, but we may actually be doing more harm than good with some of our methods. To help you extend the life of your driveway -- and to reduce the chance of costly asphalt repair or replacement in the future -- follow these dos and don'ts for the upcoming season:
- Keep your driveway clean
Making sure your driveway is clear of debris, leaves, and branches will help with wintertime management. For the sake of your car and the asphalt paving, you'll want a smooth surface in fall and winter.
- Have seal coating done
In order to protect your driveway from the seemingly endless freeze-thaw cycle of winter, you should have sealcoating performed in early fall. Seal coating keeps your driveway crack-free and will extend its life. Although we may not always experienced the country's harshest winters, seal coating is your best bet in preventing unnecessary damage. You never know when we'll see a freeze or a thaw!
- Clear away ice and snow
If you live in an area where you experience a lot of snow or ice -- or even if you're subject to a surprise storm -- you don't want to let those elements accumulate. It's best to clear them off as soon as possible, so that multiple snowfalls or layers of ice don't build up. It'll make your job of shoveling or plowing much easier in the long-run.
- Use spiked snow tires
They might be useful for getting through extreme winter weather, but these types of snow tires can really damage your driveway. They'll create holes in both asphalt and concrete driveways that require expensive repairs. Even if you've applied a seal coat on your driveway, spiked tires can still do a lot of damage. If you need snow tires, it's best to explore other options.
- Use metal shovels
You may not realize it, but your choice of shovel can cause a lot of damage for your driveway! Sharp objects like metal can scrape and destroy your asphalt driveway. In this case, plastic shovels are the way to go -- and be aware of how hard you're shoveling!
- Use rock salt
Many homeowners opt to use rock salt to thaw ice and snow on their driveways. Although it's important to stay safe in wintertime, using rock salt can hurt your driveway and take years off its life. There are many other alternatives to rock salt -- both chemical and natural -- that won't hurt the environment, your pets, or your driveway. Many people use kitty litter, sand, fireplace ashes, or potassium chloride.
Whether you live in an area with extreme winter weather or a more moderate climate, you'll want your driveway to be prepared for anything. Contact us today to receive more information about asphalt paving, parking lot repairs, or seal coating.