How to Repair a Driveway After Winter

March 30, 2020

How to Repair a Driveway After Winter

In the colder northern climates, winter is finally abating and making way for spring. Temperatures are rising and the snow is starting to melt. Winter is a hard time for people, their machines, and their homes. The cold temperatures, ice, and snow do a number on everything and everyone. Homeowners, property managers, and business owners will be looking to get external repairs done on their properties in the spring. This is especially true of their driveways and parking lots. Pavement takes a beating as a rule. Snow and ice combined with coarse rock salt and deicing agents really take a toll on asphalt. The chemicals in salt and deicing agents slowly eat away at the bitumen and asphalt, weakening it and leading to cracks and holes. Here we have some tips on how to repair a driveway after winter.

Spray Down the Driveway

You are going to want to get rid of any residual salt and deicer on the pavement. The melting snow does a good job of getting rid of some of those chemicals and minerals, but it doesn’t do the whole job. Get a power washer and give the driveway a good cleaning. There’s no point in putting anything down on top of all that mess. It’s like painting over dirt—it simply won’t last.

Clean Out Any Cracks and Holes

After the cleaning, clear out any holes and cracks that developed over the winter. All the excess moisture and gravel in the holes will only prevent the cold patch and seal from grabbing hold and doing a good job. Make sure they are all clear and dry before proceeding. Look around for any new ones and failing patches from the previous year. If any of the old patch is coming up, clear it out too and start fresh.

Use Cold Patch

Get some cold patch asphalt and start filling in those holes and cracks. Start with the holes, since they will take more material than the smaller cracks. Once the hole is full, use a tamper to pack it in nice and tight. A manual tamper has enough weight to flatten out these small holes. Do the same for cracks. If the cracks are smaller, you can add crack filler strips instead.

Sealcoat the Whole Thing

Once all the holes and cracks are filled, sealcoat the whole thing. If the temperatures aren’t warm enough yet, you might have to wait on this step. Whether it’s now or later, put the finishing protective layer—fresh from the sealcoat tank—on the parking lot or driveway. Give it a facelift with the sealcoating and help it look like new again.

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