Asphalt Care Tips for Every Season

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Your asphalt driveway works hard for you every day of the year, so shouldn't you provide it with the proper care, too? Asphalt driveway maintenance and care varies with the seasons. To keep yours in great shape and ensure any issues are dealt with quickly, adhere to these asphalt care tips for each season.

Spring

Spring tends to be a wet and rainy season. While your asphalt is made to withstand the elements, having moisture trapped against it for too long a period of time can cause accelerated deterioration. So, be careful to clear away any leaves or debris that blow onto your asphalt promptly in the spring.

On one of the first warm spring days (once you're fairly certain snow season is over), use a power washer or even your hose to spray off the driveway. This removes any last remnants of salt or de-icer that are lingering on the asphalt so they don't cause friction and wear when you walk over them. 

Summer

Once the weather warms up and summer is in full swing, it's time to examine your driveway for cracks. If you notice any, you can purchase asphalt crack filler at a local hardware store and then follow these steps to fill each crack:

  1. Clean any debris out of the crack. If there are small grains or sand or dirt in the crack, shoot some canned air into the crack to dislodge them.
  2. Squeeze the crack filler from the tube into the crack. Make sure the filler is raised just above the surface of the asphalt.
  3. Use a squeegee or spatula to smooth the crack filler out.
  4. Let the area dry for at least a day before parking on it or driving over it.

If you notice any larger pot holes in your asphalt, it's best to call a professional and have them fill the holes. The project requires a lot of specialty materials, including prepared hot asphalt, which are not always easy to find.

Fall

Fall is the perfect season for seal coating since the cool temperatures allow the coating to cure properly. Experts don't all agree on how often you should seal coat your driveway. Some will tell you to seal coat every year, while others think this is a bit excessive. It's often best to keep an eye on your driveway's condition and then hire someone to seal coat it if you notice:

  • Your driveway developing a lighter gray color
  • Multiple small cracks beginning to form in the asphalt
  • Granules of asphalt "peeling out" of the driveway

During the fall, also make sure you keep leaves swept off the driveway as they fall. As in the spring, they can trap moisture against the asphalt and cause damage. 

Winter

When winter rolls in, most homeowners want to de-ice their driveways to prevent slipping and sliding. It's very important that you choose the right de-icing material. Avoid rock salt, as it can break down the protective coating on your asphalt and lead to pot hole formation. Look instead for a liquid de-icing product that states it is safe for use on asphalt.

When you shovel your driveway in the winter, make sure you use a flat-bottomed shovel so you don't accidentally make any dings or dents in the asphalt. If ice forms on the asphalt, apply some de-icer and let it do its job. Don't use a metal object to try and scrape the ice away; this may damage the asphalt.

With the tips above, you can take the best care of your driveway all year long. To learn more, speak with paving contractors like Imperial Paving in your area.

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5 May 2017

Improving Your Paving

About a year ago, I realized that there were all kinds of problems with our home's pavement. The driveway seemed to be chipping apart and the front walkway was desperately cracked. I knew that I had to do something to improve things, so I started working on getting bids to improve things. It was amazing to see how many different pavement options we had and how great of a job one contractor eventually did. The difference was astounding after all of the pavement was broken out and things were fixed. This blog is all about improving your paving and making a significant difference in your home.