The heat of summer can take a toll on asphalt driveways, for they are especially susceptible to hot temperatures. Because asphalt is black, it absorbs heat. Furthermore, the oils it's made from have excellent thermal retention. If not cared for properly, hot temperatures can soften and further weaken an asphalt driveway. Here's how to care for your asphalt driveway this summer.
Choose When You Work on Your Car.
If you like to perform your own mechanic work in the driveway, try to avoid working on your car during the hottest part of the day. For example, perform a brake job or oil change in the morning or evening rather than at the peak of the afternoon. You'll be more comfortable and your driveway will better support your car.
While asphalt driveways can easily support several vehicles, the metal edges of a car jack can dig into driveways when it's hot outside. Once a car is on a jack or other lift equipment, its weight bears down on just a few small points, and those small points have strong, narrow metal edges. For this reason, a much stronger force is exerted on a small area compared to that when cars are simply on their tires.
Performing automotive work during the cooler parts of the day will make it easier for your asphalt driveway to support the full force exerted by a jacked-up car. Driveways are at their strongest when temperatures are lower.
Use a Sprinkler on Record-Setting Days
As record-setting temperatures become more and more frequent, keeping your asphalt driveway cool on days with previously unseen temperatures is particularly important.
If you're home on a record-setting summer day, run water over your asphalt driveway to help cool it down. Even warm water will absorb heat from a driveway, but cool water from a garden hose will be the most effective.
Of course, you should only run water over your driveway if the region isn't experiencing a drought. Local water restrictions should always be taken into consideration.
You don't have to set up a sprinkler specifically for your driveway to take advantage of this strategy. Runoff water can be used by:
- Setting up a sprinkler for kids to play so that the water drains onto your driveway
- Washing your car in your driveway
- Dumping a kiddie pool out on the driveway when kids are done playing
These are all great activities for a summer day, and they come with the added benefit of cooling down your asphalt driveway.
Let Trees and Shrubs Grow Near Your Driveway
If there are any trees or shrubs near your driveway, consider not trimming them until the end of the summer. Nearby shrubs and trees will provide shade for your driveway, which will help keep it cool. You can trim them after the summer is over and once temperatures go down.
Get Your Driveway Sealed When the Weather's Nice
Sealing cracks in an asphalt driveway, is by far, the best way to take care of it. For the best result, a driveway should be sealed when the weather is going to be fair for several days.
In spring and fall, finding a few days when the weather in Indianapolis is nice can be challenging. In winter, it's nearly impossible to have a few consecutive days without snow, sleet or rain.
Summer, however, usually has many nice days. Watch the weather and schedule to have your asphalt driveway sealed when there's going to be a few non-rainy days in a row. It's fine to have your driveways sealed on cloudy days, as long as there's no major rainfall.
To have your Indianapolis home's asphalt driveway sealed, contact Preferred Asphalt Inc. for more information or to schedule asphalt services.