Installing a new asphalt driveway is a big investment. As with any large investment, you’ll want to do everything you can to protect it. The condition of your driveway can affect your property value, curb appeal, and even your safety. Cracks and potholes create a potential tripping hazard that could lead to personal injury. Following these asphalt driveway safety tips can keep your driveway looking great and you and your family safe.
Cold Weather Asphalt Driveway Maintenance Tips
Choose your snow shovel wisely. When clearing their driveway, people often choose a metal snow shovel. This type of shovel may be more effective at breaking up and scaping any ice beneath the snow. However, a metal snow shovel can damage asphalt surfaces. It is best to use a lightweight, plastic snow shovel. The key is to shovel early and often to prevent ice from forming. Be sure to hold the shovel at a shallow angle to prevent damage to your asphalt and never use the shovel as a pick to break up ice on the driveway.
Select your de-icer carefully. This is one of the most important asphalt driveway maintenance tips, as de-icers can be hard on the asphalt. Whenever possible, you should avoid using them. If you really need to use a de-icer, bypass the rock salt. It is toxic, can damage your asphalt, and is ineffective when the temperature is 15 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. The best choice is using a de-icer made of magnesium chloride, which is good down to zero degrees Fahrenheit. If you are dealing with temperature below zero, a de-icer made of calcium magnesium acetate is effective to negative 25 degrees Fahrenheit.
Consider using a snow blower. You can invest in the equipment to do it yourself or hire a snow blowing service. Either way, clearing your asphalt driveway with a snow blower can be the best option. However, it is important to note that the skid shoes or skid plates are positioned about ¼ of an inch above the top of the driveway and the snow blower blades are kept high enough as not to damage the asphalt. If the blades come in contact with the driveway, they could cause the same type of damage as a metal snow shovel or worse.
Warm Weather Asphalt Driveway Maintenance Tips
Inspect your asphalt driveway thoroughly. Just because the temperature begins to rise in the spring doesn’t mean the asphalt driveway maintenance tips dry up. The first thing you need to do when the winter weather ends is to inspect your driveway for damage. Look for cracks and potholes. Don’t disregard any of these because you think they’re too small to be an issue. Rest assured, they are only going to get bigger if left unattended.
Clean Your Asphalt Regularly. It’s important to keep your asphalt clear of dirt, debris, and other contaminants. Another one of the best asphalt driveway maintenance tips is to sweep away dirt and debris regularly and periodically give it a thorough cleaning. This can be done with a long-handled scrub brush and some mild detergent or dish soap and water.
You can also power wash an asphalt driveway. This method should be done with great care. Used improperly, a power washer can do more harm than good. Regularly cleaning your driveway can keep it looking beautiful and prevent issues like mold and mildew from forming in any tiny cracks or crevices. Once inside, mold and mildew growth can cause those cracks and crevices to widen, causing damage to the asphalt.
Switch up your parking spot. As the summer heats up, asphalt can be damaged if constantly under pressure. Parking on different areas of your driveway throughout the warm weather can prevent this from happening. It is also a good idea to avoid leaving any other heavy objects in the same spot on the asphalt for long periods during the summer months. This could leave a dip in your driveway or even cause it to begin to crack, depending on the weight of the object.
Now is the time to have repairs made. This could top the list of the most important asphalt driveway maintenance tips. Repairing cracks and potholes as well as restoring your asphalt driveway with seal coating needs to be done in the warmer weather. The temperature must remain consistently above fifty degrees for asphalt repairs and seal coating to be done. Here in New Jersey, this typically means the ideal time for this type of work should be done is from May until September.
Professional Asphalt Driveway Maintenance
Want to extend the lifespan of your asphalt driveway as long as possible? Certified Asphalt specializes in full-service residential and commercial asphalt paving, including asphalt milling and seal coating. Our experienced team can help you identify the problems in your asphalt surface and decide what type of asphalt maintenance or repair is best for your individual needs. Contact us to see how we can help preserve your asphalt surface and protect your investment.