Insight To Help You Prepare Your Asphalt To Avoid Winter-Related Damage

Keeping your asphalt pavement in good repair is the key to making it last for many years. Preparing your asphalt for winter is an important step to ensuring your asphalt survives the season as well as possible. Here are some tips to help you prepare and maintain your asphalt pavement to help avoid winter-related damage.

Complete Autumn Repairs

Before the weather turns icy and snow-covered you should clean and repair the surface of your asphalt. Remove any leaves, dirt, and debris from its surface with a pressure washer or broom so you can determine the extend of any holes and cracks on the pavement. Remove any vegetation growth from cracks and holes to prepare the surface for a patch that will adhere.

Fill any potholes and large cracks with a asphalt patch mixture, either hot mix or a cold bagged mixture. Fill the damage in layers, tamping each into place before adding the next layer until the surface is level with the surrounding asphalt. Patch any thin cracks with a liquid asphalt filler, until the crack is level with surrounding surfaces. Make sure each patching material is fully cured before you drive upon its surface.

Remove Snow and Ice

When your asphalt pavement becomes covered in snow and ice, you will need to clear it and melt any ice to prevent accidental falls and for your vehicles to grip the pavement. To remove snowfall from your asphalt, you can hire someone with a snow plow who is able to complete the job without scraping the surface of your asphalt with the plow blade. A plow blade scraping the surface can cause damage and deterioration and allow moisture to seep within the pavement. You can also scrape the snow with a snow shovel. Be sure the snow shovel you use does not have a sharp metal edge, which can also cause damage to the pavement's surface.

There are several types of ice melt you can use, depending on the expected low temperature in your area. Some ice melts will freeze at higher temperatures than others. Choose the type of ice melt that works for your climate, as none of the salt ice melts will damage your asphalt. Asphalt actually becomes damaged as the snow melt moisture seeps down through cracks in its surface.

Maintain With Winter Repairs

Despite your best efforts to prepare your asphalt for winter, damage can still occur. Keep some bags of cold mix asphalt patching material, so you can fill any damage during winter. Be sure you also compact this material into the damage. You don't want to wait until spring to complete repairs. Making repairs over winter will prevent the damage from deteriorating further.

Contact a paving contractor for more help.