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Driveway Maintenance In The Winter

Erika Joanne

Erika Joanne

Writer for Maximum Asphalt Care.

       Like it or not, winter is right around the corner, and Canada’s winters are not the most gentle on asphalt driveways. Luckily, there are things you can do to help prepare your driveway for winter and protect it from the elements. So what can you do? Read on to give your driveway the maximum level of protection heading into the winter months.

Repair potholes before the weather turns

       Potholes can collect water which will freeze in the winter creating a slipping hazard. Before the freezing weather comes, repair any potholes or indentations in your driveway to make your driveway as level as possible to prevent ice build up. 

Ensure any cracks in your driveway are filled before temperatures go below zero

       Unfilled cracks will fill with water and freeze and expand in the winter making the cracks more severe and can even cause new cracks to form. Extend the life of your driveway by filling any cracks in preparation for Canada’s harsh winters.  

Seal your driveway

       Sealing your driveway will provide an additional level of protection, as it will help keep the water out of your asphalt. Driveways crack and warp when water seeps into and below the asphalt and then freezes, putting pressure on your driveway as it expands. Sealing your driveway every two years will greatly reduce the amount of water that seeps through the surface, but for best results consider annual sealing. 

Be cautious of what snow removal tool you use

       Avoid shovels with sharp metal blades as these can scratch the surface of your driveway and can negatively impact the appearance of your driveway as well as lead to further damage. 

       If you use a plow to remove the snow from your driveway, ensure that the plow is slightly raised from the surface of your driveway in order to prevent it from damaging the asphalt. If you hire a plowing company, make sure to look into their reputation and reviews to ensure they will take care of your driveway.  

Clear your driveway of snow regularly

       Allowing large amounts of snow and ice to accumulate and pack down on your driveway will not only make shovelling more difficult, but may cause damage to your driveway and foundation of your house when it melts.

Be selective about what ice melting products you use  

       Rock salt (sodium chloride) is the most common de-icer. However, sodium chloride is quite harsh and can damage your asphalt if used regularly. This product can cause pitting and eat away the surface of your asphalt. The least harmful option is sand or kitty litter. While these products will not melt snow and ice, they help improve grip and reduce the slipperiness of your driveway.

       If your heart is set on a product that will melt the ice on your driveway, consider using potassium chloride or magnesium calcium acetate, as they will do the job while being much more gentle to your asphalt than rock salt.

       The time is now to start getting your driveway ready for winter. Take advantage of the warm weather while it’s here; prevention is the best defence against weather damage.  


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