Maintaining your asphalt driveway throughout the winter months is a challenge. However, with some knowledge, you can prevent damage that would force you to replace your driveway.
Know the Threats
Your best course of action for protecting your driveway is to know what can damage it. Unfortunately, ice and snow will cause significant damage the surface and lower layers of your driveway. Most of the damage happens because excess moisture penetrates the asphalt, which will cause the material to weaken and possibly break apart.
Fluctuating temperatures are another issue that causes your driveway to crack. As the temperature changes, the asphalt will expand and contract, thus weakening the entire paved area. This movement causes cracks to form and it allows more water into the lower layers, which can lead to holes that you will need to repair.
Remove Ice and Snow
The next objective is to remove any ice or snow that forms of the surface. For large amounts of snow, you can use a shovel or snow blower to get rid of most of it. When you have a layer of ice and snow, you can choose to use a deicer to help prevent excess moisture from damaging your driveway.
Deicers that you can purchase at a home improvement store do not actually melt ice. Instead, these products break the bond between the ice and your driveway's surface. Some common types of deicers are rock salt, calcium chloride and magnesium chloride.
However, each type of deicer has the capabilities to damage your driveway if you put too much onto the surface. Rock salt for example is easy to use when temperatures are over 20 degrees, though it can still do minimal damage to the surface.
Magnesium chloride on the other hand can deal with ice even when it negative 13 degrees outside, but the damage it can create is moderate to severe. For this reason, you need to be very cautious about which deicer you use and you need to follow all of the instructions on the package to avoid major complications.
Repair When Needed
Another way to prevent major damage is to repair small cracks once they occur. In the winter, this can be a little difficult but it is not impossible.
Some pavement companies use a cold-mix asphalt mixture to repair cracks and holes throughout the winter months. The cold mixture is designed to cure when the weather outside is too cold for traditional repair methods.
During the winter, your driveway undergoes a lot of stress from the different weather conditions. For this reason, you need to take the opportunity to learn how to prevent damage to the surface, so you have to spend less time and money on repairing your home's driveway.
For more information about asphalt paving, contact Lakeridge Paving Company or a similar contractor.