Winter can be hard on your asphalt driveway. The combination of extreme temperatures, moisture, and snow moving equipment can all result in major damage if you aren't careful. The following tips can help you maintain your asphalt through winter so you aren't stuck with a major repair in the spring.
Tip #1: Resurface and Seal
It's time to resurface and seal your drive if you are noticing cracks or minor damage. Do this before winter weather arrives, preferably in summer or fall. A pavement contractor will fill small cracks and potholes with fresh asphalt. If the damage is severe, they will then apply a thin coat of new asphalt over the top. Finally, they will then sealcoat the drive to prevent future damage and new cracks. Even if your drive is in good condition, you may want to consider a fresh layer of sealcoating. This will provide more protection for the coming winter, so you won't end up dealing with major damage in the spring.
Tip #2: Shovel With Care
The wrong shovel can leave large gouges in asphalt. Stay away from metal shovels with sharp edges. Instead, opt for those with a blunt edge or choose a sturdy plastic snow shovel. Do not try to break up large chunks of thick ice with a mallet or sledgehammer, since this is a sure recipe for introducing cracks to the asphalt. If snow and ice builds up to the point that a shovel can't move it, use a chemical ice melting product. Also, avoid piling up the snow on the edges of the drive. This area has less support and is more prone to crumbling, especially under the extra weight and leaching moisture of a large snow drift. Instead, completely clear the snow to a lawn or garden area that borders the drive.
Tip #3: Skip the Rock Salt
Rock salt may melt ice quickly, but it will also eat holes in your asphalt. Instead, shovel the snow off early in the day. This way the rising sun will melt and evaporate the small amount of moisture that is left behind after a thorough shoveling session. If this isn't an option, perhaps because of heavy cloud cover, then use a chemical snow melt product. These won't eat away at the asphalt like salt will. To be even more cautious, sweep up the excess after the ice has melted instead of leaving it to sit on the drive.
For professional help with asphalt paving, contact a company like Curtis Paving Vancouver.