Concrete driveways are extremely durable even after years of harsh winters. The end of the year brings freezing temperatures, ice, and snow. These elements cause your driveway to be prone to premature damage. Therefore, you must prepare your driveway this winter for the extreme weather ahead.
With some careful planning, you can avoid expensive and lengthy concrete repairs. Winterizing your concrete driveway will allow it to remain intact and look its best.
Continue reading to find out three steps you can take to prepare your concrete driveway this winter.
Create a Winterizing Checklist for Your Concrete Driveway
1. Make an Investment in Equipment
It’s a good idea to gather the appropriate tools you’ll need before extreme weather arrives. Be sure all the equipment is in good condition. A quality heavy-duty snow shovel must be part of your essential items on hand.
You must keep in mind that the right equipment is worth the investment. Your concrete driveway must be protected from winter activities. A plastic shovel is much gentler compared to a metal one. Using a metal shovel can easily scrape the driveway and leave a mark.
The shovel must be sturdy to scrape hard-to-remove ice. You will also want to have a push broom handy. It will help you overcome wintry precipitation.
2. Clean the Concrete Surface
Lots of damage can happen during winter if you don’t winterize your concrete driveway. In the fall and part of the winter months, fallen tree branches, debris, and leaves expose themselves to the concrete.
Not only do these elements have the potential to cause damage, but they can also hide it. Potholes, cracks, and other damage can go undetected. To clean the concrete from these harmful items, simply use a gentle broom, leaf blower, or rake.
Gently clear away the debris and spray with a pressure washer. If you see stains, you may remove them with a chemical stain remover. Make sure to follow the instructions on the label.
After you have swept all debris away and eliminated stains, any damage will be more visible. Inspect your driveway for potholes, spalling, cracks, and other damage.
3. Inspect Drainage
Another factor to consider is the drainage of your driveway. The drainage system has to be working well to avoid melted snow to accumulate. Puddles that occur during winter become dangerous patches of ice.
If you don’t address any existing drainage issues, the icy winter months can lead to bodily injury. Plus, it will continue to create more damage to the driveway.
A good solution is installing a trench drain. This piece intercepts water on its way to the low area. Your contractor team at We Do Concrete Cheap provides various types of repairs including cracks and potholes.
Sealant is very important when you are dealing with .concrete. A sealed driveway will be stain-proof. The sealant also acts as a protective barrier and will help prevent the damage that occurs during winter.
You can apply the sealant on your own or with the assistance of our experienced professionals. If you have not performed this task before, it’s best to consult an expert. The sealant has to be carefully applied. It takes about three days to properly set, which means you’ll need dry weather.
4. Purchase Ice Melt (Concrete-Safe)
Choose a concrete-safe ice melt to keep your driveway free from ice all winter. Not only will it keep your family safe when walking on the driveway, but it will prevent concrete damage.
Most ice-melt products are composed of magnesium calcium acetate or potassium chloride. These ingredients are preferred instead of rock salt, which is tough on concrete. If you want to protect your driveway, even more, use a gentler ingredient such as cat litter.
What Should I Do About Damage?
If you see any visible cracks, it means your driveway is susceptible to more damage. Ice and water during the winter months can seep underneath the cracks. As the water and ice expand, it creates a shift in the concrete. Being proactive about cracks you find will save you headaches down the road.
What if the Damage is Minor?
Small cracks and holes can be repaired on your own. There are helpful DIY guides that will help you achieve a successful repair. A concrete repair kit is available at the hardware.
However, when you notice damage on your concrete driveway, it is a good time to have it professionally inspected.
If in doubt about your skills to repair your driveway, the team of certified contractors at We Do Concrete Cheap are ready to evaluate the condition of your driveway. It’s possible that your driveway may need replacement.
By fixing the cracks and other damage early, you’ll ensure that your driveway will be more likely to stay intact during the winter. It will certainly withstand harsh winter conditions!
Need Help Winterizing Your Driveway?
Although having a concrete driveway requires little maintenance, you must pay close attention to it before winter. Our expert technicians, at We Do Concrete Cheap will guide you through every season to keep your concrete like new.
Our team of concrete professionals is focused on providing the highest standard of service in the industry. Call us for a consultation today and schedule a driveway inspection!