Cold weather can really take a toll on the structural integrity of your asphalt driveway. The cold affects asphalt in many different ways, and your driveway may have developed some cracks during the winter months.
With spring right around the corner, it's the perfect time to address any cold-related cracks so that your driveway will remain functional and safe during the coming year.
1. Correct Freeze and Thaw Cracks
The freeze and thaw cycle that is associated with winter weather can cause cracks to form on the surface of your asphalt driveway. Moisture from snow or rain can seep into small cracks that exist in your driveway. As temperatures cool, this moisture freezes and expands.
What started out as a small crack turns into a large one as a result of the added pressure generated by moisture expansion. The freeze/thaw cycle occurs multiple times throughout the winter months as temperatures fluctuate.
Spring is the perfect time to spot and repair cracks caused by the freeze and thaw cycle through crack sealing.
2. Prevent Base Material Damage Caused by Cracks
Another reason you may want to consider crack sealing for your asphalt driveway during the spring months is to prevent any damage to the base materials supporting your driveway. Many asphalt slabs are laid over the top of clay. This clay provides a firm base, but it can sustain serious damage if it becomes too wet.
Cracks that form in your driveway during the winter can allow melting snow to drain down into the clay. The soft clay isn't strong enough to allow the asphalt to hold its shape, resulting in additional cracking. Crack sealing can prevent base material damage by controlling the amount of moisture that comes into contact with the clay beneath your asphalt.
3. Repair Damaged Sealcoating
Any sealcoating that you have added to your asphalt driveway in the past could be stripped away during the winter months. The blade of a plow or metal snow shovel can scrape the sealcoating off the surface of old cracks.
Snowmelt products can also cause the sealcoating to deteriorate. Spring is the perfect time to add a fresh sealcoat to restore any damage sustained during the winter months.
Crack sealing in the spring offers you a simple and effective way to improve the appearance and function of your asphalt driveway. Ask a paving contractor about asphalt crack sealing for more details.