A well-maintained driveway adds to your home’s curb appeal and resale value. But winter does take its toll, with ice, snow, and freezing temperatures.
How do you keep your concrete driveway clear and well maintained in winter? Here’s a winter concrete care checklist you should follow.
1. Avoid De-Icing Chemicals
Yes, de-icing chemicals, such as road salt, will effectively melt snow and ice on your driveway. But they will penetrate the surface of your concrete, as well, especially if it was recently installed.
Once the chemicals do this, they will put the driveway through a pattern of freezing and thawing that may cause scaling, spalling (breaking off in fragments), cracking, and other damage. Another way to de-ice your driveway, and give your motor vehicles better traction, is to use sand or even kitty litter.
De-icing chemicals can also harm your lawn and other plants, so avoid using, if possible.
2. Regularly Clearing Away Snow and Ice
Although this may be hard during periods of prolonged and repeated snowfalls, do your best to keep the driveway shoveled of snow and ice. If you manage to keep the driveway cleared, then you’ll stop snow and ice freezing into the concrete surface and thawing, which can cause cracking and other damage.
3. Don’t Scrape Too Close to the Surface
Whether you have a service plow your driveway or do it yourself, ensure that the snowplow blade is lifted high enough that it doesn’t scrape and damage your concrete as it removes snow.
4. Don’t Park Heavy Equipment in the Driveway
As a rule of thumb, don’t park heavy vehicles and equipment on your driveway for prolonged periods of time. Their weight can damage the concrete.
5. Prepare and Repair Concrete During the Warm Months
Before winter comes in fall or summer, or after its ravages in spring, are good times to repair driveway damage, do maintenance work and prepare for harsher seasons ahead.
You should periodically seal and waterproof your driveway with a high-quality sealant. This will enable it to withstand the harsh conditions of an Oklahoma winter better.
By edging the sides of the driveway – clearing the sod from within two or three inches of the concrete or blacktop – you will provide a space for snow and other drain-off. It’s also a good idea to clear away nearby shrubs and trees that have root systems that could grow into and damage the concrete.
As well, make sure that your gutter downspouts aren’t draining directly onto your driveway. It’s also a good practice to keep your gutters and downspouts free of debris and ice, so water doesn’t back up and overflow, causing damage and leaks to your roof and home foundation.
With a leaf blower and power washer, keep your driveway clear of debris and spills of oil and other chemicals that may damage its surface.
Homeowners must be aware that small damages like cracks or missing concrete in your driveway, or leaks inside your home’s concrete foundation can lead to larger problems and more costly repairs down the road. So it is wise to repair any damage as you find it, rather than subjecting the damage to further freeze-thaw cycles.
For best results, use the services of a professional concrete care and repair company. They will clean the concrete surface thoroughly and repair the damage with the correct patching product, ensuring that your concrete maintains its aesthetic appeal and rugged support strength for a long time to come.
If you need winter concrete care or any time of the year, Broken Arrow’s R&M Concrete can handle all manner of residential concrete projects, ranging from a foundation or driveway to a decorative patio or floor. Contact us today for a free estimate for the concrete work you require.