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Caring for Your Asphalt in the Summer Months

Summer is finally upon us here up in northern Alberta – and we are always glad for it! People are spending more and more time outside, and some of that time isn’t simply for leisure! We all devote a portion of our time taking care of our homes and yards – and your asphalt driveway shouldn’t be any different! Let’s review a few simple tips that will extend the look – and life – of yours!

1. Seal cracks and repair holes as soon as you can. Have a look over your driveway now

that the good weather is here, and see what needs doing. Cracks can appear over the spring as the ground thaws and shifts, even if you had some filled in the fall. If you are a DIY’er, you can purchase sealant at the hardware store, just be sure to follow the directions carefully, and watch the weather to make sure you have adequate weather to let the sealant cure. You can always call professionals who will come and do the job for you as well. Holes can be repaired without having to tear out the whole driveway, just get them while they’re small and before they grow into a problem. Doing a full seal-coat over the entire surface is recommended every 2-5 years depending on the wear and tear of your asphalt space.

2. Don’t work with heavy machinery in high heat on your asphalt. If you can avoid parking heavy vehicles or machinery on the driveway during high heat, you’ll help to prevent ruts from forming. Asphalt is weakest when hot and can shift and separate when under stress.

3. Water your asphalt! We’re not kidding here. Have a kid’s pool to empty? What about those coolers after being at the lake? Feel free to empty them over your driveway, as this will cool your asphalt and strengthen it. We aren't talking "regular watering", just when the temperature is higher than the usual summer heat, watering to cool it helps. Some people take specific time to water it, and others will let the sprinkler reach their driveways as they water the lawn. Of course, always be aware of any water restrictions in your area, and water accordingly.

4. Keep it clean. At least in the spring and in the fall take the time to scrub down your driveway using a broom and some water. This helps keep debris from getting into tiny cracks and making them worse. Cleaning up spills that can come from vehicle maintenance, or faulty parts is a good idea, as fuel and oils can breakdown the make-up of the asphalt and cause damage.

When in doubt, or simply need an opinion on what to do, or can be done, give us a call and we'll be happy to help you keep your asphalt driveway looking its best!

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