Being prepared for winter isn’t just for homesteaders and boy scouts. You as the homeowner or building manager don’t have to know everything about asphalt to prepare properly. While asphalt is typically done in the spring time, it can be done in the fall during warm weather. The weather has to be warm and dry enough to prepare your asphalt for the cold weather coming.
Winter in New England can be very rough. Your driveway or parking lot is likely to take a real beating from ice, snow, salt, sand and traffic. If your asphalt has any weak spots the winter weather will exploit those spots and make them worse. That is why it is important to give your driveway or parking lot a good once over before cold weather gets here.
Sealcoating Your Asphalt Pavement
Sealcoating should be done every 3 to 5 years to help protect your parking lot or driveway. For this to be done correctly the asphalt temperature should be at least 50 degrees. If the weather permits, seal coating can be done during the warmer part of the day. Weather can be unpredictable in New England, so getting it done in the earlier part of the fall season is best.
Crack-Filling Your Asphalt
Even small cracks can be a significant problem if not handled properly. Cracks often lead to stormwater getting into the underlying rock support in the pavement. If the sub-base of your asphalt gets damaged, more cracks can appear and even potholes. These new cracks and holes lead to more water getting in and leading to more damage. Dealing with potholes and large cracks later may lead to complete replacement. Sealcoating fixes most of those small cracks.
Pooling Water on Your Asphalt
Do you ever see pooling water on your pavement? Pooling water can mean that the top layer is uneven. When you have pooling it can mean that there is a significant problem with the subbase of your asphalt. If the top layer collapses, then you end up with a pothole. The correct thing to do is repair that area of pavement with patching to prevent future pooling of water.
Another way to tackle standing water in your parking lot or driveway is porous asphalt. This type of asphalt is designed to allow water to run through it and the subbase back into the ground. Porous ashpalt is newer to the market, but it has a lot of benefits.