Tips For Keeping Your Asphalt Driveway Safe In The Winter

If you have recently had an asphalt driveway installed on your property, then you likely want to retain your investment as much as possible. Unfortunately, the winter can be quite harsh on the asphalt. You can do some things to prevent damage though, so keep reading to learn what these things are. 

Use The Correct Deicer

Many people spread deicing agents in the winter to help melt the accumulated ice and snow that builds on the asphalt. This is a good idea, as long as you choose the right product. Some types of agents will cause damage to your asphalt. This is true of rock salt. Rock salt does not cause direct damage like it would on concrete. Instead, the damage is caused when the salt stops working. 

Rock salt will thaw ice and will keep ice away, but only until the temperature drops below 15 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the temperature drops below this point, the ice can harden once again. Typically, the ice will harden once it works its way into the cracks of the asphalt, and this will cause pressure and stress on the driveway.

To prevent continual freeze and thaw cycles, spread a deicer that works below the 15 degree mark. There are several options. Magnesium chloride will work at temperatures at or below 0 degrees Fahrenheit and calcium chloride will work at 25 below zero. Keep in mind that these deicers may not last as long as rock salt, so you may need to spread them on your driveway a bit more regularly.

Clear Snow Carefully

Clearing snowing away from the asphalt is obviously important so you can get your car out of your driveway in the morning. However, the simple act of removing snow can cause damage, so do so as carefully as possible. If you use a shovel, then opt for a plastic one with a round end. Metal shovels, like the ones with sharp and flat edges, can damage the driveway, so stay away from them.

If you use a snowblower, then make sure to set the bucket so it sits at least one-quarter to one-half inch off the driveway. This can keep you from scraping the edge of the snowblower against the asphalt. 

If you pay someone to clear your driveway with a plow, then choose an individual who has a rubber or plastic attachment on the edge of the blade. This attachment is typically called a snow blade, so ask the individual if they have this sort of thing. If your driveway is still damaged in spite of your efforts, contact local paving contractors for help with repairs.