Maintaining your asphalt pavement consists of repairing it throughout the year and preparing it for the winter season. To help your asphalt hold up as well as possible and keep its integrity durable, it is a good idea to take some time to make sure your asphalt is initially installed right and to take care of it over its life. Here are some tips to help you make sure your asphalt, new or existing, is ready for winter weather.
Install a Proper Base
If you are installing an asphalt driveway as a new surface or to replace an old deteriorated pavement, make sure the asphalt's foundation is installed properly. To install a proper foundation, it is important to make sure it is made of compressed angular gravel, which provides a solid base for wet weather with freeze-thaw patterns. Installing your asphalt's base using sand or dirt can allow the foundation to become saturated and deteriorate. This eventually results in your asphalt sinking and cracking due to the underlying foundation deterioration.
A proper base is especially important when going into winter in a northern climate, as you will likely receive a good amount of snow and ice during the season. When spring temperatures thaw the snow and ice, the water will seep through the asphalt and the collection of moisture below your asphalt saturates the base material and causes potential sinking. This can result in your having to tear out sections of your pavement and replace them with a new foundation and asphalt layer.
Any existing cracking damage to your asphalt will only get worse over the winter season. When you live in a northern climate that receives snowfall, the ice and freezing temperatures will cause water to expand any cracks as it freezes. Patching the damage also helps give you a more solid surface in which to complete snow removal with a shovel or a snow plow, then applying snow melt crystals.
Be sure you clean out any cracks and holes by spraying them with a pressure washer or sweeping clean with a broom to remove dirt and debris. Apply a cold patch filler into the base of the crack or hole, building up the repair in layers and compressing any air pockets out of the materials.
Sealcoating your asphalt is recommended every few years, depending on the type of climate you live in and the condition of your asphalt. A cold winter can cause your asphalt to receive freeze-thaw patterns where moisture seeps into the cracks and freezes to expand the cracks. Fall is a good time to install a layer of sealcoating to cover the surface of your asphalt with a waterproof barrier and sealing up any existing cracks in its surface.
Talk to a professional asphalt company about adding a sealcoating layer onto your asphalt.