Winter may be your favorite season, but not when it comes to asphalt maintenance. You're worried that your driveway or parking lot might not survive all that frequent snow plowing. But did you know that you can reduce snow plow damage just by sealing your pavement?
How Snow and Frequent Snow Plowing Can Damage Your Asphalt
Snow in itself can't damage asphalt, but old and damaged pavements, as well as prolonged exposure to water, does. The problem begins when snow melts and cracks are already present in the pavement.
A huge amount of melted snow will become surface runoff, but tiny amounts of water will remain in the cracks. When the remaining water freezes again after a significant drop in temperature, the newly formed ice will gradually expand and push the seams of the cracks until larger fissures form.
Improper and frequent snow plowing can also damage asphalt pavement. To understand how snow plowing can damage asphalt, we need to understand how snow plows are built and how they work.
Snowplows fall into two categories. Manual snow plows are designed to be pushed by the user to clear snow off the driveway. The other type of snow plow is attached to the front of a vehicle (typically a truck, SUV, or tractor). The metal blades are available in different edges, including straight, V-shaped, and box.
So how do these seemingly innocuous equipment cause damage to your asphalt driveway?
Remember that snow plow blades are made of metal. Every time the blade comes into contact to the asphalt pavement, the bottom edge scrapes the surface and chips the top layer away if it has not been properly sealed.
And there are other factors that compound the problem. As the ground is covered in snow, it can be hard for the operator to determine where how high or how low the asphalt surface is. Uneven surfaces can also make things difficult for the operator.
You can prevent snow plow damage by hiring experienced professionals who know your driveway well.
Or you can reduce snow plow damage simply by sealing your pavement.
But how can sealcoating protect your pavement from snow plows and snow melt?
Sealcoating is a mixture of additives, aggregates, coal tar or asphalt emulsion, clay, fillers, and water. If properly applied, driveway sealer can protect the asphalt from the sun's harmful UV rays. Sealcoating also fills and seals smaller cracks, preventing them from eroding further.
Related: How to Sealcoat Asphalt
Even better, sealcoating can help speed up snowmelt. And because snow melts quicker, you don't have to plow your driveway as often. This significantly reduces the risk of damage from frequent snow plowing.
And even if you have the pavement snow plowed often, you can rest assured that the blade won't chip the surface off as it has a protective layer of sealer.
Winter is coming, and the few weeks before it arrives are your last chance to protect your asphalt pavement from the damaging effects of snow, water exposure, and frequent snow plowing. If you're planning to DIY asphalt maintenance, then shop drums of coal tar sealer or asphalt emulsion sealer here at the Asphalt Kingdom store and save with big discounts. Or you can buy our complete DIY Patch & Seal Driveway Package to save even more.