Snow and ice can do some real damage to your asphalt paving. Unfortunately, so can the removal process. All that freezing ice and snow combined with the harsh chemicals and scraping can leave your asphalt in really bad shape come spring. That's why it's so important that you take the proper steps to protect your asphalt during the winter. One of the best ways is to have your asphalt resealed before the first snow, or freezing rain arrives. In addition to that, here are four other steps you can take to prevent damage.
Use Non-Chemical De-Icers
Chemical de-icers may clear up the ice and snow quickly, but they'll also damage your asphalt, especially if you need to use them on a daily basis. The best way to prevent that type of damage is to avoid using them. Use non-chemical de-icers instead. Sprinkling sand, or even kitty litter, on your snow and ice will start the melting process so you can clear the ice and snow away. If you can't eliminate the chemical de-icers altogether, try rotating a few times a week to give your asphalt an occasional break.
Raise the Blade
If you've got a large area of asphalt that you need to clear, and you're going to be using a snowplow, you'll want to raise the blade a bit. Keeping the blade too close to the asphalt could cause serious damage, especially if you've got loose granules in the path. The blade could dig right into the asphalt as you're passing over it. Raising the blade before you clear away the ice and snow will help protect your asphalt from costly damage.
Work on the Winter Drainage
If you haven't taken care of the drainage along your asphalt, you'll need to do that before winter officially arrives. As the snow and ice melts, it will flow down hill. If you don't have proper drainage, you could end up with soil erosion along your asphalt, which could end up causing your asphalt to collapse under the pressure. You don't need to do a lot of work to improve the drainage. All you need to do is use a square-nose shovel to create a shallow, downward sloping trench along the edge of your asphalt, and then line it with gravel.
Monitor the Asphalt for Signs of New Damage
During the winter, it's crucial that you monitor your asphalt for signs of new damage. The constant freeze and thaw cycle that can accompany winter weather, can cause small cracks to develop in your asphalt. If you find new cracks, you should have them repaired as soon as you can.