You need to take care of your asphalt driveway throughout the year, especially during the winter. Winter's freezing and thawing cycles and snow and ice removal can cause extra damage to your asphalt's surface. Here are tips to maintain and repair your asphalt driveway during the winter.
Preventing and Repairing Snow Removal Damage
When your asphalt driveway is covered in snow and ice, you can take steps for snow and ice removal with the right precautions. Salt and other ice melt products won't damage your asphalt driveway like they can damage concrete, so you can use them as much as you need during the winter. Some ice melts can leave stains on the asphalt, so make sure you rinse off your asphalt surface when temperatures begin to thaw in early spring.
If you use a snow plow clear your asphalt driveway, make sure you put tire chains on the plow to prevent the plow's tires from spinning over slippery surfaces. This can strip away the surface of your asphalt, leaving the aggregate materials visible. If this occurs, in the spring you will need to cover the stripped area with an asphalt seal coating to restore the surface of your driveway to its original condition. If you leave the asphalt in a stripped condition, normal use of your driveway and weather can wear away at your asphalt, leading to cracks and holes in the damaged area.
Set your snow plow 1/2-inch above the surface of your driveway to prevent gouging into the asphalt with the snowplow blade. Also take extra care when clearing snow from uneven sections in your asphalt driveway. Shallow scrapes in the surface of your asphalt can be filled with seal coat in the spring. Deeper gouges can grow larger during winter's freeze-thaw cycles and will need to be repaired before this happens. You can make these pothole repairs during the winter with instructions in the following section.
If you notice a pothole has begun to form in your asphalt driveway, repair it as soon as possible, even in winter. This can help prevent the hole from becoming larger and more costly to repair. And repairing it can prevent a person or a vehicle receiving pothole-related harm or damage. Using a cold mix asphalt during the winter is the best option for repairs. Hot mix asphalt will cool too quickly in the cold weather before you can repair the hole. Make sure to do your repairs during a period of good weather.
First, remove all the snow and ice from the pothole, including any chunks of asphalt and other debris. It is important to chisel out the hole to make the bottom of the hole the same width as the top opening of the hole. Use a chisel and hammer to dig out any ice chunks and asphalt pieces to make the sides of the pothole vertical.
A layer of cold mix asphalt compacted to a thickness of two inches is optimal, so if your hole is deeper than two inches you will need to add crushed gravel into the hole. Fill the bottom of the pothole with angular crushed gravel that will compact together easily and tightly. Use a hand tamp to compact the gravel into the hole. Pour the cold mix asphalt over the gravel so it is slightly higher than the surrounding asphalt. Tamp it down with a hand tamp until it is level. Add more asphalt mix and tamp it down if necessary.
If you want to apply a seal coat over the patch, you will need to wait 30 days for the asphalt mix to cure. If you apply a seal coating too soon, it will seal the cold mix from the air and prevent it from curing.
If you need help making all the necessary repairs and maintenance tasks to your asphalt during the winter, don't hesitate to contact a company like Lakeridge Paving Company.