5 Tips for Maintaining Your Asphalt Driveway

5 Tips for Maintaining Your Asphalt Driveway

If you are residing in the New England region (Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut), your need for asphalt maintenance will vary depending on the weather patterns in your area. The climate in the region greatly varies across the 800 miles spanning the northernmost part down to the southern section of the region.

The summer season in New England can be very hot and humid sometimes with temperature ranges between 90°F and 100°F in the lower Connecticut River valley of Massachusetts. Meanwhile, most of the region receives 60 to 120 inches of snow every year. Some areas, however, receive only 35 to 50 inches of snow annually like the cities of Boston, Hartford and Providence.

Despite the relatively diverse weather patterns in New England, this region has one thing in common: all the states in the region experience long winters because of their geographical location. Maintaining the asphalt in your driveway is essential for the safety of your car, especially during winter. Here’s how you can do it:

1. Get rid of the snow in your driveway

The most common and simplest way of maintaining your driveway is to remove the snow. Under ordinary conditions, you can simply shovel the snow; but if the snow is too thick and already dense, you will need professional help such as a snow plow truck to remove the snow in your driveway.

If there is simply too much snow, it is not only a matter of snow blocking your car but it can also be potentially harmful to the driveway pavement. Cracks can develop as water seeps into the porous sections of the pavement. Repeated cycles of thawing and freezing will inevitably damage the pavement.

2. Melt the ice using salt mixtures

After you have removed the snow, you should melt the ice by sprinkling salt mixtures on the pavement. The ice on the surface will make the pavement slippery and dangerous for both people and vehicles.

The salt mixtures do not necessarily produce heat but rather they lower the freezing point of water. For instance, magnesium chloride mixtures work well if the air temperature is below 17°F (the freezing point of water is only 32°F).

Table salt or sodium chloride is commonly used for deicing pavements but other types of salt can also be used like potassium and magnesium chloride. These are more environment-friendly than calcium chloride pellets which are harmful to the concrete and vegetation.

3. Remove the ice from the pavement

Even after applying salt on the pavement, some thin layers of solid ice may still remain. You may remove them using a shovel or sweep them away with brush. If your driveway covers a large area, you may also try using a snow blower or even a leaf blower to blow air on the surface.

You may reapply salt and then hot water to remove the remaining ice. Another method of removing ice is by spraying the surface with 70% isopropyl alcohol. You may use an ordinary bottle sprayer or, if you want to cover larger area, you can mix water with alcohol and use a garden pump sprayer.

4. Take the necessary precautions to avoid wasting time

Sealcoating your driveway can only be done during the summer season when the weather is relatively pleasant, so doing this won’t be viable this coming winter. You must also take note of the following:

  • The curing time for sealers is just a few hours but you should not use the driveway for 24 to 48 hours after applying the sealer to prevent damage.
  • You should only sealcoat if the average air temperature is at least 60°F for a period of 24 hours. Otherwise, the sealer will not properly cure.
  • Check the weather forecast if rain is imminent 24 to 48 hours before the application of the sealer.
  • Make sure that the surface of the pavement is dry and stop the coating process before 3 pm.
  • It is better to apply two separate thin coats instead of applying one thick layer. Allow the layers to dry. This will also provide an aesthetically appealing finish.
  • Avoid applying sealcoat on driveways that have more than 20 degree-angle slope.
  • You should also wait at least six months for repaired cracks and potholes to completely cure before applying any sealcoat.

5. Hire professionals to sealcoat the driveway

The best way to protect your asphalt driveway is to sealcoat it. The protective layer will prevent water from seeping into the porous surface of the asphalt and concrete.

You can do all the tedious work of cleaning the pavement and removing the snow but ice will always be a threat to your driveway pavement.

You should hire professionals to do the sealcoating work because it requires special skills, tools and equipment.

So if you are planning on getting your driveway seal coated come summer, better ask for price quotes from several companies soon.


Ron Shattuck Jr. built Shattuck Paving into a trusted, reputable family business. Ron Jr. learned a lot about the industry and the hard work ethic that Ronald Sr. lived by, and has now followed in his father’s shoes to operate the company and help it grow.


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