Winter weather can do a number on your home’s exterior. Even durable elements such as a concrete or asphalt driveway aren’t safe from the destructive forces of sleet, snow, hail, and subzero temperatures. Because your driveway has a significant effect on the curb appeal of your home, it’s important to take measures to prevent any cracks, potholes, or other types of unsightly damage from occurring during the colder months of the year. To keep your driveway in good condition come spring, consider implementing these effective ways to protect your driveway during the winter.
Seal-Coat Your Driveway
One of the best ways to prevent damage from occurring to an asphalt driveway is to have it seal-coated. Seal-coating your driveway involves applying a liquid coating to the driveway; it will harden and provide protection from a variety of different elements, such as UV rays, water, ice, and oil. For optimum protection, you should have your driveway seal-coated every two to five years. Ultimately, investing in this form of preventative maintenance is much more cost effective than having to repave your driveway due to damage that will inevitably occur over time.
Shovel Snow Regularly
Another way to protect your driveway during the winter is to regularly shovel snow off its surface. Clearing your driveway of snow will prevent melted snow from infiltrating any cracks in the pavement and refreezing, which will cause any existing damage to become worse as the ice expands.
When shoveling your driveway, make sure to use a plastic shovel rather than a metal one, and try to be as gentle as possible. The blades on metal shovels can scratch the surface of concrete or asphalt driveways and potentially cause more damage than the snow would have.
Repair Any Cracks Before Freezing Temperatures Hit
To avoid extensive damage from occurring to your driveway during the winter months, it’s important to take care of any existing issues before freezing temperatures hit. As we previously touched on, any existing cracks in your driveway will likely become worse as freeze and thaw cycles occur. If there are any minimal cracks in your driveway, water from melted snow or rain will likely infiltrate them. Then, if temperatures dip below freezing, the water will freeze in the cracks, causing them to expand and become wider and deeper. To prevent small flaws from becoming large issues, make sure to fill any cracks or holes before winter weather arrives in full force.