3 Tips For Protecting Your New Asphalt Driveway During The Winter

Did you recently have a new asphalt driveway installed? If so, you likely want to take steps to protect the asphalt and extend its life as long as possible. One of the times when asphalt is most vulnerable is during the winter. The salt used to deice roads is abrasive and can cause small cracks in the asphalt's surface. Melting snow and ice can generate moisture that can seep underneath the asphalt, causing small cracks to turn into big ones. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to minimize moisture damage. Here are three things you can do to protect your asphalt driveway this winter:

Edge the sides of your driveway. It's always a good idea to keep a small gap between the side of your driveway and the edge of your lawn. By separating the two, you can prevent the spread of weeds underneath the asphalt, where they can then grow up through small cracks.

In the winter, edging is even more important. By using an edger along your driveway, you can create an area for moisture to run off the driveway. That's important when you have layers of melting snow and ice. You want as much water as possible to run off into your yard or down the sides of your driveway, not down the middle of the asphalt. Use an edger to create space for water to flow off your asphalt.

Use a shovel or plow with a plastic tip. Many people inadvertently cause their own driveway damage in the winter by using metal-tipped shovels or plows with metal-tipped blades. The metal tip comes down hard against the driveway to cut through the ice. In some cases, it may actually make contact with the driveway and create a small chip or crack. If that crack gets exposed to more moisture, it could open up pretty quickly.

Instead, use a shovel or plow with a plastic tip. That should be effective at cutting through ice while not posing any kind of threat to your asphalt.

Avoid salt or chemical deicers. As mentioned, salt is abrasive and can cause small cracks in your driveway. Similarly, chemical deicers can get underneath the asphalt's surface and cause the asphalt to split open. Instead, use a less abrasive deicer like cat litter. If you already have ice accumulated on your driveway, cover it with sand. When the sun comes out, it will heat up the sand, which will cause the ice to melt faster. Then you can use your plastic-tipped shovel to quickly clear the ice and moisture.

For more information, or if you would like professional assistance, contact Asphalt Maintenance or a similar company.