The St. Louis area is unique compared to many other parts of the country in that it experiences the best and worst of all four seasons. During the winter months, snowfall and freezing temperatures are common. Is your driveway ready for winter?
An asphalt driveway can last for years, but how well you take care of the pavement during the winter will have an impact on its lifespan. Learn how you can protect your driveway this winter and beyond.
Consider a Sealant Reapplication
The start of the winter season is an excellent time to consider a sealant reapplication. When your driveway was initially installed, a protective seal coat was applied over its surface to safeguard it from stains, moisture penetration, and cracking. However, exposure to the sun and everyday wear and tear causes the coating to fade away over time.
A sealant is an added protection that is important during the colder months because it prevents the excess moisture from snow and ice from penetrating into the deeper layers of the surface. When the inner layer of the asphalt is exposed to moisture, it will start to deteriorate, leading to greater damage.
An asphalt driveway should be resealed at least once every few years, so if you're due a reapplication, you can act now. However, if you’ve recently resealed your driveway in the last year or two, don’t do it again. Applying a sealant too often also causes damage.
Rotate Heavy Vehicles
During the warmer months of the year, you may have spent some weekends heading out in the family RV or boat. Now that winter is here you'll likely park these vehicles in the driveway until next year. If this sounds like your plan for the season, make certain you set reminders for yourself to rotate these vehicles from time to time.
Never keep a heavy vehicle parked in the same location for too long. The weight of these objects places extra pressure on the pavement and causes weak spots to form around the tires. Eventually, these weak spots lead to cracks.
As a result, the area around these spots will deteriorate at an accelerated rate, which will reduce the overall lifespan of the driveway. If you have a large or heavy RV, boat or another vehicle, you may want to consider paying for storage at a facility to protect your driveway, as frequent moving might not be enough to protect your pavement.
Remove Snow and Ice With Care
When the driveway is covered with snow or ice, you want to clear the pavement. However, when it comes to protecting an asphalt driveway, there is a right and wrong way to go about it.
When you need to remove ice from your driveway, avoid chemical based deicing agents. These solutions work fast, but not without causing damage. Once the corrosive agents remove the ice, they start to attack the asphalt by eating away at its sealant layer and breaking down the asphalt's bond. Sand is a safe alternative, as it gives you enough traction to drive on the surface.
For snow removal, avoid using shovels with metal blades, as the metal tips chip away at the sealant. Even a small area of a driveway not protected with sealant can open the door for moisture penetration into its deeper layers and cause significant damage. Use a plastic shovel for snow removal and avoid dragging the shovel across the ground.
Ensure you're doing your part to protect your asphalt driveway this winter. In the event you have any problems or concerns, don't hesitate to contact Metro Paving Company. We are happy to assist you with your pavement needs.