Tips to Protect Your Driveway in Winter
As if you don’t have enough to worry about already, the cold temperatures being new challenges to your driveway, as well. Granted, neglecting your driveway in wintertime might not lead to a fatal injury (usually), it will leave you with lots of repairs to be done when the spring arrives. Here is what you want to know to keep your driveway safe this winter:
- When you get a warm day, make sure that you clean off your driveway. Debris, dirt, leaves, decorations, and so on should be removed.
- Every five years or so, add a new coat of sealant to the driveway. You can get this from a hardware store and apply it yourself, although the middle of winter might not be the best time to do this one. Try to do it in late summer or fall, instead.
- If you have oil stains (especially as salt corrodes your car parts), you will want to pressure wash or use a commercial oil remover to clean stains from your driveway.
- Study your driveway. One or two cracks need to be sealed with expanding sealant right away, but many cracks or a “web” on your drive is a sign that there are deeper problems with the driveway itself. The bigger problems may need to be resurfaced, but you can treat the small hairline cracks yourself.
- Don’t wait until multiple snowfalls accumulate before cleaning the driveway. This will allow for a sheet of ice to form, making clearing the driveway very difficult in the future.
- Use a plastic shovel (instead of a metal shovel) to better protect your driveway. This is especially true for asphalt driveways, but it also important when it comes to concrete driveways, too.
- If you have very heavy vehicles, parking them in a private lot is a better choice than on your driveway. We don’t mean SUVs, but rather RVs, boats, heavy construction equipment, and more.
- Install a heating system. If you haven’t laid down your driveway yet, you can install a heating system for around $2,000-$5,000. If you have, you can still get “blankets” that can heat large sections of your drive for a couple of hundred dollars. They take some work, but for extreme ice problems in freezing temperatures, they can certainly get the driveway clear. Some stores rent these, too, which might be just what you need.
- Avoid using salt on cement driveways, especially in year one. There are more eco-friendly alternatives, and they do a much better job of protecting your drive.
- Make sure that your gutters are not draining out onto your driveway.
- Use sand or kitty litter to provide traction to a frozen driveway in the winter.
These tips should help keep your driveway safe during the winter months and keep your repairs down (or eliminate them) come Spring. As always, stay safe out there.
Henry Duckstein Jr.