It may feel like summer was just yesterday, but winter weather is fast approaching. Edmonton residents are no strangers to dealing with ice and snow, but people that just got their asphalt repaved may not be looking forward to winter.
Trying to protect asphalt from salt damage may seem like a futile task, but there's actually plenty the average homeowner can do to combat salt damage.
It's time for a crash course on salt, asphalt, and how both can live together in harmony this winter.
WHY SALT DAMAGES PAVEMENT
People use salt before icy winter weather because salt makes it difficult for ice crystals to form in water. The coarseness of the salt also provides some extra traction for people and cars.
Some people may tell you that salt doesn't directly cause damage to asphalt, concrete, and other paving materials, and they are technically correct. Pouring rock salt on pavement won't cause any direct damage; the problem occurs during the melt/freeze cycle.
Once snow and ice melt, the extra water and salt can seep inside of your paving material. After the water freezes again, it can expand and cause fissures and cracks.
HOW TO PROTECT ASPHALT FROM SALT DAMAGE
Now that you know how damaging salt can be to your asphalt, it's time to learn what you can do to protect it.
Believe it or not, you have a lot of options available this winter if you want to keep your sidewalk and driveway safe. Consider any of these options when you're preparing your home for winter.
REPAIR EXISTING CRACKS
We mentioned before that damage occurs when water and salt seep into your paving material. Cracks and other damage in your asphalt can make this problem much worse.
Take time to repair any damage you see in your asphalt before winter comes. Some water and salt seepage are inevitable, but sealing cracks beforehand will make it much more difficult for damage to occur.
TRY A SALT ALTERNATIVE
Rock salt isn't the only material you can use to protect your asphalt this winter. You can buy a lot of de-icing products that are considerably less harsh than your usual rock salt.
Calcium chloride has become a popular alternative to rock salt. It's incredibly efficient and doesn't react chemically to concrete or asphalt. Magnesium chloride is another popular salt alternative.
These two salt alternatives also have the benefit of being more environmentally friendly than rock salt.
SHOVEL THE RIGHT WAY
Standing water and snow that's saturated with salt can be a significant threat to your asphalt. Don't give it a chance to settle into your pavement or cracks.
We'd never recommend shovelling during a snowstorm, but you should try to remove snow as fast as you can. Make an effort to shovel quickly after the snow stops.
We also recommend using the right equipment when you shovel. Metal shovels can seem sturdy, but they can also easily chip concrete and asphalt. Invest in a sturdy plastic shovel that can remove snow and protect your pavement.
PROTECT YOUR PAVEMENT
It isn't difficult to protect asphalt from salt damage. As long as you take good care of your asphalt, consider alternatives, and shovel correctly, your asphalt can remain relatively damage-free this winter.
Are you in need of asphalt repair? Regardless of if you need a few cracks repaired or a totally new driveway, we're ready to help! Contact us today, so we can schedule some time to talk about your paving needs.