As beautiful as it makes the landscape, the winter season is extremely damaging to your driveways and walkways. If your pavement gets damaged during the winter, you can search for “paving companies near me” and hire professionals to repair it. However, being proactive can help you avoid that situation. Let’s check out the paving maintenance you need to do before winter.
1. Repair cracks
Inspect your driveway, parking lot, or walkways for signs of damage like cracks or chipped areas before the winter sets in. Small cracks may seem harmless at the moment. However, as it gets exposed to the elements on a regular basis and tolerates regular use, the cracks can spread out larger and expand significantly. This isn’t just true for the winter season, but for scorching summers as well. Eventually, water from melting snow would make its way into those cracks.
When that happens, the water would keep freezing and thawing inside the cracks and cause erosion and tremendous damage to the substrate below the visible surface. This could lead to alligator cracking and make repair extremely expensive. If you wait too long to repair the cracks, you would be spending a lot from your bank account when the winter season wreaks havoc on the surface and the substrate. That’s why you should repair cracks as soon as you spot one.
2. Seal the pavement
Sealing pavements during the hot and dry seasons is the best way to extend their life and prepare them for the cold harsh winter. Sealing pavements during the summer season every two or three years can keep the pavement looking brand new and rejuvenate the protective layer of your driveways and walkways. It helps the pavement to fight the elements and maintain its strength at the foundational level so that it remains strong for many years to come.
3. Remove snow as quickly as possible
Removing snow is very important for maintaining your driveways, parking lots, and walkways in their best condition. As snow piles up on the pavement, it makes walking or driving very dangerous. Apart from that, the snow turns into dense ice and makes the pavement very slippery. This makes the pavement very hazardous for both vehicles and pedestrians. In the worst-case scenario, someone would get injured at your property and hold you responsible in court.
If you’re a business owner who has parking lots to maintain, it’s even worse for you. The snow and ice hide the marked areas of the parking lots and cause chaos when customers drive in. Lower visibility can hide emergency exits, parking zones, and other important markings. If things go really wrong, you’d get less business during the winter season. Clearing the pavement of snow and ice helps to avoid unnecessary incidents and saves you from lawsuits.
4. Choose de-icing agents carefully
A lot of people use rock salt for de-icing their pavement and to prevent slippery conditions. However, that’s a big mistake and it’s going to cost you in the long term. Rock salt does more harm than good since it is highly corrosive and can do severe damage to both asphalt and concrete. It’s not good for the soil around the paved area either and can quickly kill your winter veggies and other plants.
Magnesium chloride is the safest de-icing agent that’s also safe for plants. It can work in extreme conditions with temperatures as low as -13 degrees Fahrenheit. While it is more expensive than normal de-icing salts at the store, you’ll need just around 2 pounds for de-icing 100 square feet. Magnesium chloride de-ices the pavement without damaging asphalt, concrete, or your plants.
5. Repair your pavement before winter
It’s best to repair your pavement before the first snowfall hits. Usually, people choose to repair their driveways and walkways during the early fall or late summer season. At that time, temperatures are still warm enough for easy procurement of materials and smooth repairs without any heavy rainfall. The longer you wait to repair your pavement, the higher the price you pay.
Moderately sized cracks, fractures, and chips can turn into potholes and allow a lot of water to seep in and contract and expand several times during the winter season. This excessive pressure damages the pavement from the inside and erodes the soil underneath and near the pavement. At some point, that erosion would compromise the structural integrity of your pavement to the point of no return. At that time, repairs won’t be an option. Instead, you’ll need to replace the pavement partially or entirely and bleed your budget.
6. Remove debris
Removing snow from the pavement isn’t enough. You’ll also need to remove debris, dirt, leaves, and standing water every day. While this should be the norm throughout the year, it’s especially important before the winter season. If there’s debris on the pavement even after the first snowfall, it would get trapped in the ice and stick to the concrete or asphalt surface. This is harmful to both your pavement and the environment.
7. Repair potholes
Potholes are usually the result of expanded cracks that weren’t repaired early on. If you continue to use your pavement with potholes, debris, dirt, and water get in to do further damage and enlarge the potholes even more. So, even if you didn’t fix the cracks on time, make sure to repair all the potholes before the winter.
Otherwise, water would accumulate in those holes and expand to spread out the damage on your entire pavement. Potholes are a safety hazard and aren’t great for driving or walking either. Repair them to avoid further damage and protect yourself from lawsuits.
The above-mentioned paving maintenance tips can help you avoid costly repairs for your driveways and walkways and protect them from winter damage. They help to extend the life of your pavement and get more out of your investment. If the fence is already damaged, you can search for “paving companies near me” and hire pros to fix it for you.