It is a well-known fact that the winter can seriously damage your asphalt driveway. However, did you know that the spring can cause its own damages as well? Below we talk about the potential damages a spring thaw can cause and how to prevent them.
During the winter, water that seeps into your asphalt freezes. As it does so, it expands and creates cracks that can run throughout your asphalt. Water that sinks beneath your asphalt and becomes trapped in the substrate can also cause the foundation to heave. Known as “frost heave”, this can create several issues for your driveway. In addition to this, the asphalt itself reacts to temperatures below 30 degrees by shrinking and contracting. This can also cause cracking or make previous cracks worse.
Why is this important when we talk about the spring? As spring rolls in and temperatures begin to heat up, ice thaws. If the water has not permeated beneath the asphalt, it can still be damaging. Water erodes your driveway and gradually leads to the need to repave. Water that pools on top of or flows across your driveway will eat away at your asphalt from the top down. If the ice penetrated the foundation, when it melts it soaks into the soil beneath your asphalt and creates further dips and bumps. If this happens, it will deform your driveway and create the potential for more cracking. In addition to this, spring rains can continue to cause your driveway to deteriorate. As the beat upon the surface and penetrate the pores and cracks, rain drops erode your asphalt and slowly chip away the adhesive elements, freeing stones to wash away. The UV rays, which come out as spring becomes summer, also oxidize your driveway. This over dries the pavement, making it brittle, prone to cracking, and less flexible.
Your best line of defense against water and weather related damages is to seal your driveway. Water is your driveway’s worst enemy. Asphalt sealant applies a waterproof barrier on your driveway’s surface to help repel water and prevent deterioration. Repairing damages, such as cracking and potholes, before sealing your driveway will help to prevent further damages from occurring. Once water seeps into the foundation, the cost to fix it goes up substantially. By applying asphalt sealant, you can avoid this cost and prolong the lifespan of your driveway regardless of the season and weather.