10 Sep

Tips to Prepare Your Driveway for Winter

Winter is right around the corner, so now is the best time to prepare your driveway for the cold weather ahead. We’re no strangers to snow and ice here in Seattle, and both can wreak havoc on an asphalt or concrete driveway already battered from the summer heat.

During the fall, be sure to follow these tips for getting your driveway ready for the colder months:

Inspect

Do a visual inspection of every square inch of your driveway, noting any cracks, holes, or other damage. A great time to do this inspection is right after a hard rain when you’ll also be able to easily spot drainage issues. Write down or sketch out the locations of any issues.

Pro tip: Take photos of your driveway at the beginning of each season, then compare photos with the last season. Is there a certain area of your driveway that comes up damaged multiple times each year? If so, that could be a sign of a bigger issue.

Repair

Once you’ve mapped out all of the damage on your driveway, it’s time to start repairs. Fill in any cracks and holes with the appropriate filler compound. You may be able to fix small cracks yourself, but larger issues should be repaired by a reputable asphalt and concrete contractor like Jireh Asphalt & Concrete.

Poor drainage is the main cause of driveway cracking, so you should correct areas of poor drainage promptly. This will help melting snow and ice drain away from your driveway. Again, this may be a job best left for a reputable contractor in your area.

Making timely repairs is the best way to increase the longevity of your driveway. The cost of professional asphalt and concrete repair services is much less than replacing your driveway due to disrepair.

Sealcoat

As a final step, sealcoat your entire driveway after all repairs are made. Sealcoat puts a protective layer on top of your driveway so that oil, auto fluids, and even chemicals in de-icing solutions don’t cause damage. Sealcoat can also fill in small cracks and prevent new ones from forming.

You probably won’t need to sealcoat every year, but it is recommended at least every 2-3 years. If you’re not sure when the last time your driveway was sealcoated, add it to your fall checklist. Better safe than sorry!

Prevention

They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and that advice holds true for driveways too. During those brutal winter months, your driveway takes a beating from all the snow and ice accumulation. But, you don’t have to just sit inside watching the elements break down your investment. To prevent snow and ice damage during winter:

  • Clear snow and ice ASAP

Snow is undoubtedly beautiful, but can also be quite heavy, and ice is even heavier. All of that extra weight puts a lot of strain on your driveway, and in some cases, may even cause cracks and buckles from being too heavy. Clean off snow and ice that has accumulated on your driveway as soon as it is safe to do so to prevent these issues.

  • Use only calcium-based ice melts

We mentioned above that the chemicals in de-icing solutions can break down the asphalt or concrete in your driveway. While sealcoating is a good way to put a layer of protection between your driveway and those chemicals, a better solution is to avoid using those damage-causing chemicals in the first place. You should only use calcium-based ice melt on your driveway and you won’t need to worry about any chemical damage.

Keeping your asphalt and concrete surfaces looking their best is our specialty at Jireh Asphalt & Concrete in Seattle. Call (425) 414-8835 or contact us online to see how we can install a beautiful driveway at your home or business and keep it looking good for decades.