Maintenance Tips for Asphalt & Concrete in the Spring

Ah, the first indications that spring has arrived. Birds of the Robin family looking for worms in the backyard. There are pansies available for purchase at the garden centers. The driveway is beginning to show signs of cracking. Not all harbingers of spring are ones that are eagerly anticipated. Asphalt and concrete both suffer damage when the winter’s wear and strain are combined with the spring thaw. Even while a well-laid surface should be worry-free, it will still require occasional maintenance to ensure that it remains healthy and appealing.

The month of March is getting closer by the day, and with it comes rising temperatures during the day with more sun beating down on the asphalt and concrete driveways, which leads to expansion within, and then with the still cold temperatures during the overnight hours, you have a contraction. March is getting closer by the day.

Throughout the winter months, snow and ice will continually freeze and thaw on the asphalt surfaces of your property. The freeze-thaw cycle can cause water to pool and infiltrate into your asphalt surface if your asphalt has uneven parts or if it isn’t graded appropriately. This can happen if your asphalt has uneven areas. Because of the way that water behaves when it freezes, your asphalt will break as a result. These cycles of freezing and thawing can cause homeowners and property owners to deal with issues such as potholes and cracks in their driveways and lots. Some of the factors that can contribute to this issue include moisture, plowing practices, the material itself, and the layout of the driveway or lot.

It’s possible that your driveway could use some work if it’s full of low spots, made of moisture-retaining soil, or surrounded by raised land. Having a crown in your driveway means that it should have a slightly higher place in the center, sloping to either side so that water drains off when it melts or falls instead of pooling up. This will prevent water from becoming a hazard. It is important that water be able to flow away from the driveway and into lower areas on either side, sometimes even into road ditches.

The beginning of spring is the time of year when asphalt pavements are most susceptible to deterioration. The water that is contained within the pavement and aggregate base freezes over the winter, beginning at the top of the pavement and extending all the way down to the subgrade. The spring thaw is the process in which the frozen pavement gradually thaws from the surface of the pavement all the way down to the subgrade. Because the subgrade is frozen, water that has been released from the melting pavement is prevented from escaping into the materials that lie beneath the pavement. his sub-grade, after having been saturated by the, might become much weaker, allowing the pavement to be readily damaged by automobile traffic loads.

The question now is, how can I safeguard my investment and/or my driveway? Protecting your pavement should begin with preventative maintenance as a good first step. The majority of the water will be prevented from reaching the sub-grade if cracks and potholes are sealed and filled. Examine the layout of your home, specifically the driveway. Find out where all of that water is going, as well as where it is coming from, and report back. Is it making its way to a storm drain through the cracks in the pavement? Because asphalt pavements have a natural aversion to water, it is important to ensure that the drainage surrounding your snow heaps is adequate so that the water can be removed from the pavement as quickly as possible.

Consider the following important aspects of the situation:

  1. Asphalt is naturally porous, which means that it is capable of taking in water from its surrounding environment. When water seeps into asphalt during the winter, the water has the potential to expand and freeze beneath the surface of the pavement. This can lead to cracks and other issues. The more cracks that form in your driveway, the more water it will be able to absorb, which will ultimately lead to additional cracking and deterioration of the asphalt. These issues can severely cut down on the amount of time your driveway is useful for its intended purpose.
  1. Because of the persistent presence of ice and snow during the winter, asphalt can suffer significant damage from the season.
  1. Cracks in a driveway can be caused by a wide variety of factors, including excessive weight, the presence of underground tree roots, movement in the soil, and, of course, excessively cold weather. Because it is porous, concrete can be penetrated by precipitation such as rain or snow, which will then swell when it freezes and shrink when the temperature rises above freezing. A driveway may develop cracks, deterioration, and even flaking as a result of the repeated expansion and contraction that occurs over the fall and winter months.
  1. On concrete, you should steer clear of de-icers that contain ammonium sulfate, magnesium acetate, and ammonium nitrate since they might cause the surface to deteriorate. The same rule ought to be followed with regard to lawn chemicals, which ought to be kept away from concrete at all costs. Asphalt can be harmed by a variety of chemicals, including gasoline and oil.
  1. Driveways should likewise be guarded against the growth of creeping plants. Remove the grass from the edges of the driveway, and make sure the tree roots aren’t pulling the surface up from underneath.
  1. Additionally, ensuring adequate drainage is of the utmost importance. Having enough drainage in place enables runoff, which contributes to the elimination of standing water. Even driveways that give the impression of being level have a modest incline that facilitates drainage.
  1. Your gutters are actually an additional significant type of drainage in your home. Make sure the spouts are directed in the opposite direction of your driveway. If you leave your snow blower aimed toward your driveway, snow and ice that has melted could start to flow onto the asphalt. In addition to the potential for causing damage to your asphalt, this also presents a potential risk to people’s safety.