Winter can really wreak some real havoc on your pavement, be it concrete or asphalt. The effects of de-icing chemicals and the cycle of freezing and thawing can quickly diminish the quality of your pavement. Luckily, with proper and continued maintenance of your asphalt pavement, it can easily withstand the damaging effects of the winter season and live a very long, healthy and beautiful life.
Keep the Asphalt Clean and Free of Debris
You can limit a lot of the damage that asphalt could incur by simply keeping it clean. Fuel and grease stains will accumulate from your car being parked on the asphalt, and a special degreaser that is made specifically for these stains can remove them.
When you mow your lawn, grass clippings will make their way to the asphalt. You can sweep these away, but if any get into cracks, then they will sprout and make the cracks larger. You can generally use a screwdriver or something of similar shape and size to get the pieces out of the cracks so that you can fill them.
Don't Overlook the Importance of Sealcoating
Asphalt will begin to deteriorate as soon as it is laid. However, you can delay this deterioration by sealcoating the pavement. Plus, snow and ice tend to melt quicker on sealed asphalt as compared to unsealed asphalt. Sealcoating will also help to preserve that natural black color so that your asphalt remains looking fresh and beautiful.
Make Sure to Fill Any and All Cracks
Once your asphalt pavement begins to develop cracks, the asphalt will quickly begin to break down and apart. With cracks, water is able to seep into the asphalt and all the way down to and below the bottom layer of the asphalt and cause major damage from the inside out. When winter weather starts the freeze-thaw cycle, the damage is made that much worse. However, if you fill the cracks as soon as they appear, you can keep water out and slow the deterioration process.
Consider Short-Term Patches for Big Holes
Winter is not the time for patching, but there are cold weather patches that can be used as short-term solutions for sizable holes. Cold patches are most definitely not as durable as warm or hot mix asphalt patches, but these patches will help protect the asphalt during the remainder of the winter season until you can apply a more permanent solution.
These are four very simple preventive measures that you can take to ensure your asphalt pavement will last through the winter. Although some may only be temporary solutions, they will work to keep your asphalt safe from further damage until the weather improves and a better option can be explored. Speak to an asphalt contractor in your area like Curtis Clean Sweep to discuss what options are available for your current asphalt situation.