Asphalt pavement is a property investment that you want to protect with the right care annually and through each season. From the freezing temperatures in winter to the heat and sun damage of summer, your asphalt is always being exposed to degrading elements that can wear it down and damage it. The following provides you with some recommendations to keep your asphalt pavement in superb condition all through the seasons.
Take Care of Damage
Your asphalt is going to be under constant wear from the sun's effects and weather fluctuations in the temperature. The sun will dry out your asphalt through oxidation, leaving it dry and brittle. Then, moisture can seep into the cracks and erode the layers, and cause damage through expansion when the moisture freezes under low temperatures.
For this reason, it is essential that you keep up on pothole maintenance and crack management with regular repair practices. Watch out for crack formation that will start with thin cracks, as they expand and widen until they spread outward with interconnected cracks. Fill cracks in with asphalt emulsion or a mixture of aggregate and asphalt emulsion, based on their width.
Potholes can quickly form from neglected cracks, which will require you to remove the loose material from the hole and excavate the damage down to the base layer. Cut out the edges of any jagged section in the pothole so you can clean them up and prepare them for a new fill application. Compact new asphalt filler in layers from a cold mix in a big or from a hot mix product that you can get from an asphalt professional. You can use a hand compactor or rent a vibratory compactor to compact the area and make it level with the surrounding asphalt surface. This will give you a smooth repair of your previous damage and keep the surrounding material protected against further deterioration.
Protect Against Winter
In the winter, make sure you protect your pavement against snow and ice damage. Clean your pavement off of any debris before the snow falls, then be sure you keep it cleaned off after snowfall occurs. The dark natural color of the asphalt will promote snow and ice to melt, but you will also need to apply and use other protection techniques.
Use ice melt products to prevent the snowmelt from freezing down into the asphalt's cracks and watch out for pooling water, which can also damage the asphalt's integrity. Arrange for snow removal with a hand shovel or a professional snow plow, but just be sure you have repaired potholes and cracks so the plow driver can avoid snagging on any chunks and causing additional damage.
For more information about residential asphalt paving, contact a local paving contractor.