Asphalt Maintenance Fall Checklist for Ohio Residents
Every year when the weather begins getting colder, it's common for homeowners and business owners to begin preparing their property for winter. They start to worry about things like their heating systems, weather-stripping, and winterization of their plumbing. But long before any of those things can become an issue, the approach of colder weather in the fall can have a damaging effect on another part of their property they may not be thinking about the asphalt on their driveways and parking lots.
Cold weather can do some serious damage to asphalt surfaces if they're not prepared for it. And that can shorten their useful life dramatically. But it's not that difficult to prevent it from happening. To help, here's a fall asphalt maintenance checklist for Ohio residents. Following it will help get asphalt surfaces through the winter and have them emerge ready for springtime.
Begin with a Cleaning
Because asphalt surfaces are exposed to wear and tear all year round, the first step in the checklist is to give them a thorough cleaning. The idea is to remove all debris and biomaterial – like leaves, twigs, and weeds – to end up with a clean asphalt surface. This will prevent those materials from getting into any cracks that may have formed and doing even greater harm. And, it makes it possible to assess the condition of the asphalt without anything in the way.
Conduct a Complete Inspection
With the asphalt as clean as possible, the next step is to inspect it to look for damage or signs of wear. Specifically, you'll want to look to see if any cracks or holes have developed that may trap water or allow plants and weeds to grow. You'll also want to look for any uneven spots that may allow for water accumulation when the weather worsens. Make a complete list of any issues you identify.
Repair any Identified Issues
After identifying any imperfections in your asphalt surface, you'll need to arrange for repairs. It's important to get everything fixed before the weather begins to worsen. Doing this in the fall can prevent small problems you've identified from becoming bigger ones after the punishing winter months.
The good news is that repairing holes and cracks in asphalt isn't difficult. They'll just need to be filled and sealed so they won't get any bigger. And although repairing uneven spots takes a bit more work, it's still worth doing. A small imperfection can turn into a pothole – or worse – if left unaddressed.
Seal the Asphalt Surface
Even if your asphalt is free of any cracks or imperfections, the winter weather can still damage it and lead to future problems. But it doesn't have to. If you add a coat of sealant to the entire asphalt surface, it will be waterproof and weather-resistant for the duration of the winter. This will help to extend its life and prevent the need for additional repairs the following year. In fact, adding an inexpensive coat of sealant each year is the best way to avoid more costly repairs for the life of any asphalt surface.
Prepared for the Cold
By following the above checklist, it's possible to get asphalt ready for whatever the winter has to throw at it. And it's not very difficult to do. So before fall brings even colder weather, get out there and make sure your asphalt is in top condition to face the winter months ahead.