If you have recently had an asphalt driveway installed on your property, then you may be anxious about the way that the asphalt stands up to the wear and tear of the winter weather. This is a concern for many people, but you may make a variety of mistakes when it comes to your driveway that ultimately causes your asphalt to deteriorate. Keep reading to learn about these mistakes and also would you should plan on doing instead.
Mistake - Leaving Snow On Your Driveway
Some people will choose to leave a one-quarter to one-half inch of snow on their new asphalt driveways and they may also put off snow removal. The theory is that the less contact made between the driveway and removal tools, the better. While a truck attached plow may place a great deal of stress on your driveway, this is not the case when it comes to a snowblower or a shovel. In fact, it is better to remove the snow, especially if you can do so by hand.
The more snow that is removed, the less chance that it can melt. This water can seep into the small openings, like the small stress cracks in the asphalt, and refreeze. As it freezes, the water expands and the cracks can widen. While new driveways have few cracks, they are likely to have at least one or two as the winter weather sets in. This has a lot to do with the way that the ground freezes and shift underneath the asphalt.
Cracks will form regardless of your snow removal practices, so you cannot completely prevent them. You can seal the cracks though, and the first sealing should occur about six months after the asphalt was installed. Do not schedule a sealing before the six month mark, and speak with your asphalt professional to see if you should wait up to nine or 12 months to seal. This allows the asphalt to cure properly. If you seal too quickly, then this will trap in the bitumen and the driveway will remain soft. Potholes can then form quickly.
Mistake - Skipping The Deicers
You have probably heard that certain deicing agents can cause a great deal of damage to an asphalt driveway. However, this is not true of all products. In fact, almost all salt-based products can be used safely on asphalt. This means that inexpensive rock salt or sodium chloride can be used. If you prefer, calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, and calcium magnesium acetate can be used as well. If you have an option, then go for calcium chloride or calcium magnesium acetate. Both of these products are capable of melting ice to temperatures well below the freezing mark. In many cases, the products work at below 20 degrees.
If a product is used that removes and deices the surface of your driveway to an extremely low temperature, then this mean that the melted ice and snow are unlikely to freeze once again. This can reduce instances of stress and the possibility of cracks widening across the driveway surface.
When you go to use your deicer, make sure to spread it evenly over the asphalt. A thick layer on one portion of your driveway that fails to touch the ice on another part of the surface will do little good when it comes to treating the asphalt properly. However, when it comes to calcium chloride, a thick layer is ideal. The product works quickly, but it dissolves while it creates heat and disappears in the process.
If you want to know about any other winter weather tricks and tips to retain the appearance of your asphalt, then make sure to speak with a asphalt installation expert, such as Mariotti Site Development Co Inc.