Living in a climate with harsh winters gives you extra responsibilities for care and maintenance of your home. Homeowners in cold climates know the perils of failing to manage the care of their property. In this article we offer you 7 Winter driveway maintenance tips to help you get ready.
7 Winter driveway maintenance tips
Winter is unpredictable, but if you prepare for the worst and take preventative measures, you can keep your driveway in good condition, even during heavy snowfalls and icy conditions. Here are seven tips for winter driveway maintenance for any type of driveway.
1. Clean your driveway
Winter driveway maintenance should begin before the snow flies. Leaves, dirt, and debris accumulate over the summer and fall, creating an unsightly mess. In addition, leaves can be a slipping hazard, and no matter what type of driveway you have, cleaning the surface in the fall will keep it looking good.
For gravel and crushed stone driveways, rake the leaves off your driveway and then use a pull behind driveway grader to smooth out the surface. Pull-behind graders are fun and easy to use, and you can pull them with any ATV or riding lawn mower.
Pull-behind graders help maintain your driveway throughout the year, and using one in the fall to smooth out your driveway will keep puddles from forming. In the wintertime, pools of water will turn into big icy patches.
For hard surface driveways, like pavers, bricks, concrete, and asphalt driveways, start with a push broom to clear out any leaves, sticks, and dirt. Then, use a pressure washer to loosen dirt and grime on your driveway. Finally, you can apply a chemical stain remover in stubborn areas.
2. Repair cracks
Concrete and asphalt driveways need more maintenance than gravel driveways. After you deep clean your driveway, check for cracks and repair them. Any parts of your driveway that are cracked or broken will be more vulnerable to water seeping in and being damaged when the ice expands in the crack. If you need asphalt repair services make sure to check out Infinity Asphalt Calgary which provides exceptional asphalt services for both residential and commercial properties, ensuring a durable and smooth surface for all your paving needs with a long history of providing quality work
3. Seal Your driveway
Once you’ve cleaned your driveway and repaired the cracks, sealing your asphalt or concrete driveway before winter will extend the life of your driveway. Apply a layer of sealant to the entire driveway with a paint roller, and allow it to dry completely before walking or driving on it. For more protection, apply a second layer.
Driveways don’t have to be sealed every year. Usually, every two to three years is adequate. Use a high-quality, waterproof driveway sealer designed for use on your type of driveway.
4. Direct gutter spouts away from your driveway
Winter freeze and thaw cycles are typical, and if you don’t turn your gutter spouts away from your driveway, the water will flow into your driveway and cause problems. So put this task on your winterization list. Otherwise, it can be easy to overlook until it’s too late.
5. Clear the snow
Depending on where you live, keeping the snow clear from your driveway can be the most significant concern in the winter. The type and length of your driveway will help determine the best method for removing snow.
For small concrete and asphalt driveways, use a snow shovel or snowblower. Be sure to avoid metal snow shovels because they can chip the surface, which will cause problems later. You can also hire someone to keep it cleared if you’re physically unable to or have other obligations.
With gravel and crushed stone driveways, the primary concern in removing snow is keeping the aggregate on the driveway and off the lawn. Smaller equipment, like snowblowers and pull-behind graders, can help keep the gravel where it should be.
6. Combat the ice
There are a few things to consider when you’re combatting ice on your driveway. Removing snow is the first step, but inevitably, ice will develop at some point. Next, you can spread salt or sand on the ice to make walking safer.
Stock up on quality ice melt before the winter starts. However, rock salt can deteriorate asphalt and concrete and should be used sparingly on those types of driveways. Instead, you can use potassium chloride or magnesium calcium acetate on concrete and asphalt surfaces.
7. Spring Clean Your Driveway
As soon as the weather allows, you should deep clean your driveway. Dirt and debris can create a place for weeds to grow on hard surface driveways, and their roots can cause cracks to widen.
If you have a crushed stone or gravel driveway, use your pull-behind grader to smooth out the surface and eliminate any potholes that may have formed over the winter months. Then, if you repair your driveway early in the spring, you can prevent problems and ensure that your driveway is in good condition until winter comes again.
Take time to make your driveway safe
Winter driveway maintenance is essential for ensuring that your driveway is safe and the steps you take will keep your driveway in good condition. Take the time to clean, smooth, repair, and seal your driveway before winter starts, then keep it clear of ice and snow throughout the winter months for the best results.
Winter driveway maintenance in summary
Apart from regular cleaning and maintenance of cracks there are a number of steps you can take for Winter driveway maintenance. Sealing your driveway is a very good start to protect the materials in cold weather. Plus if you can always direct house gutter spouts away from the drive itself to minimise damage, wear and tear. Always clear the snow, don’t let it sit on the surface of the driveway. And in a similar way ensure you remove any ice to protect the surface as much as you can. And of course every Spring make sure you clean your drive just as you would your home. Keep all these Winter driveway maintenance front of mind and take action to protect your drive.
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