Like the old saying goes “where has the summer gone”. The schools are preparing for their Holiday band programs, the trees do not have any leaves on them, the NFL season is half over, and the stores are preparing for the Holiday season. It won’t be long and the weather will remind us that winter is almost here. Below are some tips that I want to share on how to care for your driveway.
Clean and reapply sealer as needed.
Cleaning your concrete driveway on occasion and keeping it sealed are the best methods you can take to keep it looking its best. How often you clean and reseal will depend on the weather conditions the concrete is exposed to and the amount of vehicle traffic it receives. Generally, you should reseal a concrete driveway every two years or so, or when the finish begins to show wear. Always apply the sealer according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Ice and Snow Removal
Remove snow from the surface of your driveway as soon as possible, because the freezing and thawing process can cause cracking in your concrete. Avoid using de-icing chemicals, since the chemicals can penetrate the concrete surface and cause damage underneath. The best way to add traction to an icy driveway is through the use of kitty litter or sand. Also, make it a practice to remove snow or slush that may be deposited by your car on your driveway or garage. Even if you do not use deicers on your driveway, your car may transport them from other areas. Take additional care at the end of your driveway where deicers from snow plows may collect.
Avoid using deicing chemicals.
Using deicers on your concrete driveway in the winter can cause surface damage—primarily scaling and spalling—by forcing the thawing and refreezing of moisture. Products containing ammonium nitrates and ammonium sulphates are especially harmful because they will actually attack the concrete chemically. Rock salt (sodium chloride) or calcium chloride will do less damage, but they can harm vegetation and corrode metal. Avoid the use of any deicers the first winter after driveway placement, since new concrete is more susceptible to the harmful effects of salt. As an alternative, use sand for traction.