During the wintertime, snow, ice and freezing rain can take a toll on a driveway. Melting snow that refreezes can create cracks and holes in concrete. Fortunately, there are things you can do to maintain the condition of your driveway so you won't have to make repairs in the springtime. Take a look at these suggestions for keeping your driveway in shipshape over the winter.
Seven Ways to Maintain Your Driveway During the Winter
- Clear Snow Away Before it Accumulates. It's a good idea to clear snow off of your driveway before it has a chance to pile up. When snow starts to pile up, it can melt and refreeze as the temperature changes. Melting snow can seep into the small cracks in a driveway and refreeze when the temperature drops. As the frozen water expands, it creates deeper cracks and holes in a driveway's surface.
- Hire a Professional Snowplowing Service. Hiring a professional to clear away the snow on your driveway is a convenient way to get the work done. But be sure that the snowplow driver has the blade positioned at the right height. A snowplow blade that is too low can scrape against a cement driveway, creating cracks and holes and otherwise damaging the surface.
- Seal Your Driveway. Putting a sealant on your driveway can help to maintain its condition throughout the cold weather months. A sealant prevents melting snow from seeping into small cracks in a driveway.
- Inspect Your Snow Shovel. Before shoveling the snow off of your driveway, make sure your shovel is in good shape. A metal shovel with corners that are bent or crumpled up can scrape and damage the surface of a driveway. A snow shovel should have straight edges, and its corners should be intact. I recommend you look into getting a new shovel if you have one that is starting to show signs of wear from previous winters.
- Avoid Using Rock Salt on Ice Patches. It's tempting to throw rock salt on any patches of ice that you see on your driveway. But when this salt mixes with melting snow, it turns into a saltwater mush. This substance can leak into cracks in the driveway, freeze, and expand. This expansion can quickly turn a small crack into a large one that needs to be repaired in the springtime. Instead of rock salt, try sprinkling sand on your driveway. It doesn't melt the ice, but it does supply traction when you need to get your car out of the garage.
- Use Your Push Broom After a Light Snowfall. If you get a dusting of snow that adds up to about an inch or two, you may be able to clean your driveway with a push broom. Cherish the opportunity to get rid of the snow on your driveway without touching a shovel!
- Utilize a Snow Blower. A snow blower can come in handy if you want to avoid using a traditional shovel. There are a variety of snow blowers powered by either gas or electricity. With a snow blower, you can clear your driveway of snow in an efficient, timely way.
Keep in mind that if you clear the snow away whenever it starts to accumulate, you won't have to tackle a driveway covered with several layers of ice and frozen snow. Take care, and thanks for reading! - Alan