Can I Repair My Driveway During the Winter?

December 7, 2019

Many people have driveways that are made with asphalt. If you live in a colder climate, the winter months can be quite harsh on asphalt, resulting in the development of cracks and holes from a combination of extreme temperatures and some of the harsh chemicals that are often used to prevent ice formation. It’s not just possible to repair your driveway during the winter, but also important to repair cracks and holes as soon as possible to prevent them from becoming larger and potentially dangerous to you and your vehicles.

The good news is that repairing asphalt problems is actually quite simple, so long as you do it right away and don’t let the problem get out of hand. You’ll want to make sure the weather will be dry and at least somewhat warm (by winter standards) so you can get the best results.

Here’s a quick overview of the steps you should take for winter driveway repair in Nashville, TN:

  • Prepare the surface: Before you actually begin patching, you’ll need to prepare the area for the job. Put on all of your protective equipment (boots, gloves, eyewear) and make sure your skin is covered up so you don’t get any particles on it. Clean off the surface in the area that needs to be repaired so there’s no residue or debris that could prevent the patching material from getting a good bond. You can use a broom to sweep away the dirt, dust and debris.
  • Remove the damaged area: Once you’ve cleaned the surface around the damaged area, you can focus in on the damage itself. Use a hammer or chisel to remove damaged pieces from the driveway. It may take a bit of forcing to get some of the pieces out of the holes and cracks. Removing these areas is a necessary part of the process, as it will make it easier for the repair material to fill in the crevices and actually stick to the sub base. A wire brush can be beneficial for cleaning cracks and holes beyond what you can do with your hands and other tools.
  • Clean again: Once you’ve removed the damaged areas, you should clean the area again, this time focusing on the debris that’s left behind in the damaged area and right next to it. A shop vacuum can be extremely helpful in this process. Suck the debris right out of the damaged area.
  • Fill cracks and holes: Once the area is clear, patching can begin. Start with cracks and small holes that are less than a half-inch in diameter. Make sure to keep the filler away from undamaged areas. Put the filler in a caulking gun and squeeze it out to apply it to the cracks, using a putty knife to smooth it out. You can then move on to larger holes, using small gravel to fill the areas and a wood post to tamp it down. You can then apply blacktop asphalt repair mixture on the gravel, tamping it down once again to prevent air bubbles from forming.
  • Wait to dry: It will probably take about 48 hours for the patching material to dry, and maybe longer depending on the temperature. You’ll likely need to wait on a sealant until the spring.

For more information about patching your driveway or tackling other asphalt driveway repair in Nashville, TN during the winter, contact RoadBuilders today.

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