top of page
  • Central Coast Paving

Winter Care for Chip Seal Driveways: Ensuring Durability Through the Cold

The words "Winter Care for Chip Seal Driveways: Ensuring Durability Through the Cold" overlaid on a black asphalt background.


As the chill of winter sets in, maintaining the integrity of your chip seal pavement becomes crucial. Known for its textured surface and durability, chip seal (or tar and chip) driveways can face challenges during the colder months due to freeze-thaw cycles, and the use of deicing agents. While Central California isn’t known to receive heavy snow through the winter, it can still be susceptible to rainfall and freezing temperatures. As seasoned pavement specialists, we’ll guide you through the essential steps to care for your chip seal driveway this winter.

Essential Winter Maintenance Tips for Chip Seal Pavement

With the larger aggregate properties of chip seal, winter weather can exacerbate the damage that can potentially take place on your driveway. Below are some tips that can help mitigate the winter pavement blues.

Pre-Winter Inspection: Inspect your chip seal surface for any cracks or damage. Small issues can become major problems when water seeps in and freezes, expanding cracks and compromising the surface.

Timely Repairs: Address any damage before winter sets in. Filling cracks and sealing can prevent water from entering and causing further deterioration during freeze-thaw cycles.

Proper Drainage: Ensure that your driveway has adequate drainage. Water pooling after rainstorms on the surface can lead to ice formation and increased stress on the chip seal during freezing and thawing.

Gentle Deicing: If deicing is necessary, use products that are safe for chip seal surfaces. Avoid rock salt as it can be harsh on the aggregate. Instead, opt for less corrosive alternatives like magnesium chloride or sand for traction.

Snow Removal Care: If snow does decide to fall near the mountaintop homes of the Central Coast, use a rubber-edged plow or a gentle push broom. Avoid metal blades that can scrape and dislodge the aggregate from the chip seal surface.

Regular Surface Sweeping: Keep your chip seal driveway free from debris and dirt. This not only maintains its appearance but also prevents organic material from decomposing on the surface, which can weaken the chip seal over time.

Sealcoating Beforehand: Consider applying a sealcoat before the onset of winter. This can provide an additional layer of protection against the elements, although it's generally recommended in the warmer months to ensure proper adhesion and curing.

Monitoring After Storms: After each storm or severe weather, inspect your driveway for signs of damage. Prompt attention to any new issues can prevent long-term problems.


Your chip seal driveway is an investment worth protecting, especially from the harsh winter weather. By taking proactive steps and performing regular maintenance, you can ensure that your chip seal surface remains safe and intact throughout the season. Remember, the care you take now will extend the life and beauty of your driveway for years to come.

Don't let winter weather wreak havoc on your chip seal driveway. Be sure to contact Central Coast Paving at (805) 665-3292 for a professional inspection or schedule maintenance and repairs, and ensure your pavement is prepared to withstand the winter months.

24 views0 comments


bottom of page