Summer is a great time to spend the day outside, at least until it feels like the sun is melting your skin. If you feel like the heat is making you fall apart, imagine what it’s doing to your asphalt driveway! Asphalt is dark, so it absorbs and retains heat all day long. All that hot and heavy overtime work can be seriously damaging!
In one of our previous posts, we’ve discussed the importance of maintaining your driveway. In this post, we discuss what you can do to take care of your driveway throughout the summer heat.
Seal Those Cracks Fast
Heat breaks down the oils and other components that make up asphalt’s structure. Combine daily use with an already weakened driveway, and chances are you’ll eventually see cracks begin to form. It’s best to stop cracks early by sealing them as soon as possible. You’ll want to follow these tips to make sure your sealing job is effective:
Seal only in fair weather. Rain and hail can weaken or even wash away sealant, so keep an eye on the forecast prior to sealing. Luckily, summer generally provides nicer weather.
Inspect and seal cracks at the beginning and end of the season. At the beginning it’s important to look for any damage that couldn’t be repaired in less weather-friendly seasons like winter or spring. Sealing cracks at the end of summer also gives you protection going into fall and winter, when finding fair weather is more tricky.
Ask a pro for help if you need it. If you aren’t sure how to seal your asphalt, it’s better to call on a professional. Attempting to do so without experience could lead to more damage or uneven sealing, which will only cost you more in the long run!
Don’t Do Heavy Duty Work in High Heat
This not only risks your own health, it can give your driveway unnecessary wear and tear. Save heavy projects such as car maintenance for cooler hours in the evening.
The reason? Asphalt is weaker and more soft when it’s hot, which means tools like jacks can actually dig in and damage the surface. You run the risk of pitting or cracking the surface. The lower the temperature is outside, the stronger your asphalt will be.
Give Your Driveway a Refreshing Drink
Have plans for a sprinkler party for the kids? Deciding to drain the wading pool for a clean refill? Gotta dump out those coolers after the ice has melted? These are all perfect opportunities to cool off your driveway too!
Aiming water run-off at your driveway is a chance to help it cool down and strengthen it on a blistering hot day. The colder the water, the better. Some owners like to aim their lawn sprinklers so that part of the water hits the driveway as well. Others simply hose off the drive while they are out watering the plants or doing other home maintenance.
Of course, water conservation is a big deal in many areas. Always be aware of any water use restrictions in your area. However, if an opportunity presents itself – such as in the examples listed above – take advantage of your waste water by using it to take care of your driveway!