Winter Maintenance & What to Expect Next Spring


How to protect your driveway this Winter:

The primary enemies of sealcoat are high volume traffic, forceful snow removal, heavy shade, and standing water/ice.

  • Remove snow with as little force as possible. Shovels are better than snow blowers and snow blowers are better than plows.
  • Plowing will scratch your sealant. It is important that you ask your plow service company to use protective measures to avoid the blade of the plow scratching the surface of the asphalt as much as possible.
  • When plowing, it is OK to leave behind a small amount of snow. The Black Dawg sealant color will absorb heat from the sun and help to melt off a minimal amount of snow/ice.
  • Chains on the tires of snow blowers, snowmobiles or other vehicles will leave small scratches on the asphalt surface. Try to use your snow blower without chains on the tires if possible.
  • Moderate salting will not damage Black Dawg's sealant.
  • Harsher chemicals can damage your sealant and asphalt, especially gas and oil type drippings or spills. Also be aware that chemicals on your garage floor will track onto your driveway. Tire cleaner will stain sealant. Apply it in the road; not on the driveway or in the garage.
  • Low areas that hold ice for a long period of time will show early wear. Try to remove the ice from these areas if possible.
  • Try to vary where you drive in and out of your garage.
  • Be sure your roof gutters are properly draining away from the asphalt surface and not pouring on specific spots on the driveway.

What can I expect to see next Spring?

You will have some wear in the first winter. The amount of wear is largely dependent on the pre-existing condition, level of use of the asphalt, and surrounding conditions that might lead to early wear.

Conditions that can cause early wear:
  • High volume or repetitive traffic
  • Low areas that hold water or ice Shaded areas
  • Shaded areas
  • Chemical spills
  • Forceful snow removal
  • Overhead vegetation: Overhead trees create extended periods of shade, which in turn leads to extended periods with moisture on the sealant. Depending on the tree species, damaging acids and enzymes also continually drip onto the sealant. Fallen leaves are also very acidic.
  • A crumbling or otherwise failing asphalt surface may not hold the sealant as well as more ideal asphalt surfaces.
  • Surfaces with excessive sealant build up may peel in spots because the original layer of sealant fails to hold to the asphalt.

What can I expect to see with my hot rubber sealed cracks and joints?

Some crackfiller will split in the first winter. How long the cracks stay sealed is largely dependent on the size of the crack and how much your ground shifts during freeze/thaw cycles. Because of this, there is no guarantee on how long the cracks will stay sealed. However, even after the crackfiller has split, it is still protecting the edges of the crack and resisting tangental cracking. Some cracks will split in Winter and re-seal in the Spring when temperatures rise.

How often should I sealcoat?

Sealcoating is a maintenance act. While you may need to mow your lawn weekly, you only need to sealcoat every 2-4 years to effectively protect and beautify your driveway or parking lot. If you want that perfect look, it is OK to seal in back to back years, but this is not necessary for protection and preservation purposes. Avoid sealing in back to back years repeatedly.

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