With fall here, the temperatures will soon start to drop—and that means your pavement is more vulnerable than ever. If you want to keep your asphalt clean and pristine throughout the colder months, it’s important that you keep up with your regular maintenance. With a little work, you can protect your pavement through seasonal changes. This will help it stay strong and functional for years—maybe even decades.
Here’s how to maintain your asphalt in the fall:
- Keep it clean: First, keep your asphalt clean of debris, oil, dirt, leaves and other messes. If you park heavy trailers or place large, heavy objects on your pavement, remove those. Place cardboard underneath any heavy objects to keep it from compressing or puncturing the pavement. You may also wish to power wash the asphalt before the weather starts getting cooler—this will help remove any petroleum or other products that will soak into the pavement and cause issues later on down the line.
- Fill any cracks: When you’re cleaning your pavement, be sure to inspect it for cracks, chips and crumbling. Even small cracks can cause big problems. Water can get into them and freeze—and when water freezes, it expands. That can enlarge the crack, so when spring rolls around, you find yourself with unpleasant new issues to address. Filling the cracks is easy. If they’re small enough, you can purchase crack fill at your local home improvement store and do it yourself. However, if you have particularly large cracks or potholes, you should consult a pavement contractor as soon as possible. You may need to replace the pavement or get professional help in order to prevent further damage.
- Consider sealcoating: Sealcoating is usually done about a year after your pavement is installed, then every two to three years afterwards. It not only helps protect your pavement from harsh winter weather, but it makes the asphalt look great for years to come. Your pavement contractor will come lay a fresh sealcoat over the top of your asphalt, then allow it to dry and cure. This protects the base layers underneath. Sealcoating needs to be done before the weather drops below 50 degrees, so act fast.
- Protect the edges: Make sure to edge your pavement to protect it from grass and weeds—their roots can invade the pavement’s edges, which makes it easier for water to intrude and cause bigger cracks.
- Watch out for pooling water: Finally, look for pooling water on your asphalt. This usually means the top layer is uneven, which can indicate problems with your sublayers. It can also create potholes and slipping hazards when the water freezes. Have your pavement contractor come inspect and repair any areas where water is pooling.
Knowing how to maintain your asphalt this fall will ensure that your pavement looks, performs and feels great for years to come. If you need assistance maintaining your pavement, reach out to Lewis and Tibbitts, Inc. today to schedule an appointment. We look forward to assisting you this fall and beyond!