How to Protect your Driveway or Patio in Winter - Tarmac Surfacing Advice Ipswich

Booth Tarmacadam share top tips for preventing slip hazards and damage to your driveway, patio or paths in times of low temperatures and winter weather. 

Snowfall, sharp frosts, cold snaps and icy temperatures – winter throws all sorts at your tarmac or paved outdoor spaces, driveways and parking areas. And that’s in addition to all the leaves, twigs and branches which blustery days and stormy blasts might send showering down to clutter and compact on the surfaces.

Winter care for you drive and paths - why bother?

Keeping tarmac, gravel and resin-bound driveways and paths hazard-free is really important to safeguard not only those who use them, but your surfacing investment too.

Clearing away snow or debris and seeking to reduce the build-up of ice on paths and drives might seem obvious, what is the best way to do this effectively, keeping the risk of causing damage to the surface to a minimum?

Keep your driveway clean and debris-free

Surfaces can quickly become slippery when covered in wet leaves and if leaves are compacted over time things can get even worse.

Clear any fallen leaves. Matted leaves can discolour paths if left unchecked. They can also block gaps in the surface of tarmac and trap water. Should temperatures then drop below freezing, the water will expand and could cause lasting damage like the onset of cracks or pitting. If there is a continued cycle of melting and re-freezing, the cracks could expand even further.

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Pick up fallen twigs or branches. It’s best to keep surfaces safe to walk on and less prone to damage by regularly picking up fallen branches and using a stiff broom to give tarmac or resin-bound paths and driveways a good sweep. Hosing the surface down will help to remove more loose dirt too if you wish.

If your driveway or paths have tar and shingle surfacing, use a rake to clear the leaves and re-level the loose gravel surface. All this will pay dividends if your drive later becomes covered in a layer of snow or ice, because it will be easier to clear.  

Get a grip on issues with snow & ice on your driveway

Snowed under? The tip here is to act quickly - shovel sooner rather than later and do it as carefully as you can.

Remember – just like leaves – snow compacted by footfall or vehicles is more likely to cause long term damage, so clearing frequently and not letting snow build up is advisable. Shovelling snow as soon as it has landed won’t avert the risk of damage completely, but will limit the damage caused over the duration of the season.

Don't forget that compacted snowy can soon turn glassy and that is when things can be come treacherous.

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Use the right tools for the job

You’ll need tools and possibly a medium like sand (think bright yellow roadside grit bins!), but it is important to choose wisely when clearing a driveway of snow or de-icing paths.   

•  Avoid using metal shovels. Although great for cutting through and picking up snow, their sharp, pointed blades can easily cause dents and pits or leave marks on your driveway - especially if used over-enthusiastically!

Use soft plastic or rubber-bladed ‘snow’ shovels as these will allow the removal of loose snow at a shallow angle and will help to prevent damage. 

Using rock salt to de-ice your driveway is really a no-no. It melts the ice and improves grip, but can damage the asphalt. 

Spreading sand or cat litter over icy areas on tarmac drives can help to improve traction, if you are looking to avoid vehicles slipping when trying to move them. This does not however melt the ice and the sand will need to be cleared when the weather improves.

Don’t ignore cracks and gaps in your driveway

Surface repairs are really important on any age of driveway or path. Take measures to fill pot holes and cracks and remove plant growth stemming from them, roots and all. Not only does this avoid trip hazards, but reduces the opportunity for water to become trapped and cause further damage.Cracks tend to appear above water damage which is hidden under the surface of your tarmac driveway.

How to repair cracked tarmac drives

You can add sealant to smaller cracks. Sealcoating the surfaced area can prolong the lifespan, but is best carried out by a professional team like Booth Tarmacadam who can assess and understand your driveway surfaces and suggest the most effective repair option.

With block paving drives and paths, it is possible to replace individual cracked bricks. 

Have significant concerns or are less sure about what is causing failures in your tarmac driveway in Ipswich? Is a large area of your drive or path damaged and broken by cracks and potholes? Contact Booth Tarmacadam, your professional asphalt driveway repair and surfacing company in Suffolk for advice. 

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