3 Fall Asphalt Maintenance Tips

Posted on: 10 October 2016

With winter just around the corner, it's time to take a close look at your asphalt driveway to make sure it is able to withstand the rigors of the season. Although asphalt is a durable material that can last many years in even cold climates, proper maintenance and cold-weather preparation goes a long way towards preventing damage. The following tips can help you get ready for the cold.

Tip #1: Scrub it down

A good cleaning serves two purposes – it helps remove anything that could lead to winter damage, and it gives you a chance to inspect the driveway for the beginning signs of trouble. You can clean asphalt with a pressure washer or by scrubbing it down with a deck brush.

Piles of leaves or grass clippings on top of the driveway hold onto moisture, which can seep into the asphalt. Then, this excess moisture freezes once winter hits, causing it to expand and crack the asphalt. Removal and cleaning solves this problem.

As you clean, keep an eye out for any small cracks, uneven areas, or pitting. These are all signs of impending damage that need to be fixed before winter arrives.

Tip #2: Repair any damage

As mentioned above, the most common types of damage are cracks, uneven areas, and pits. Cracks and pitting are fixed using the same method. Any dirt in the crack or pit is removed, and then the crack is filled in with an asphalt repair caulk. This prevents any moisture from getting into the crack or pit and making the damage worse.

Uneven areas or dips are more worrying, since these indicate that there is a void in the base material beneath the asphalt. As the asphalt continues to sink, a pothole will form. A contractor can sometimes fill in the uneven area so it won't collect water and worsen.

Tip #3: Apply a seal coat

A seal coat is a thin layer that protects the asphalt from moisture. It needs to be replaced every few years. You can check to see if it needs to be done by sprinkling water on the drive – if it beads up, you are okay. If it soaks in, you need to apply a seal coat.

If you recently had to repair a lot of cracks or pits, another option is to have the asphalt resurfaced instead of sealed. A contractor will apply a thin layer of fresh asphalt over the old, providing it with a new, durable surface that shows no signs of the old cracks.

For more help, contact an asphalt contractor in your area or check out websites like http://www.phend-brown.com.

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