Are you prepared to keep a low profile for the winter? No, not yet. There are a few critical winterization activities to complete around the home, both inside and outside. Preparing your concrete driveway should be on your must-do list before the snow begins to fall. Snow, ice, and freezing temperatures can cause substantial damage to concrete and asphalt, causing massive cracks and potholes and hastening degradation. However, protecting such surfaces is simple and you can do it yourself or with the help of a professional concrete contractor.
Clear the concrete surface of any debris, dirt, or grime
Cold and windy weather in the fall and winter can drop fallen branches, leaves, and other debris on your concrete. This can cause damage, but it can also conceal harm, such as potholes that you do not see until your vehicle strikes them. To remove debris, use a soft brush, rake, or leaf blower. Then, using a hose or pressure washer, spray down your concrete. This will loosen dirt and grime and aid in the removal of any recent stains.
Some stains will require special attention with chemical stain removers. Here are some cleaning tips. For oil, grease, grime and dirt use a concrete degreaser. For efflorescence, salt deposits, lime, or rust stains, use a cleaner made with non-corrosive or biodegradable acid. For paint, sealers, epoxy, or other topical contaminants, use a coatings remover or stripper After properly sweeping and removing any potential stains, you’ll be able to identify any cracks, spalling, or other concerns that need to be corrected.
Look for any driveway damage and repair it accordingly
To properly winterize concrete driveways, you must avoid or repair three forms of damage: pitting and spalling, cracks, and heaving. These three concerns arise when moisture is not adequately handled or your snow and ice removal attempts cause unneeded harm.
Cracks: If little surface cracks and deep fractures in your driveway are not treated properly, they can pose major difficulties throughout the winter. These fissures are produced by shifting or heaving, faulty curing, or loads that exceed the specified strength of the concrete. The issue with cracks is that they enable moisture and brine to seep into and beneath the concrete, causing more damage to the pad.
Heaving: When water penetrates the concrete pad and begins to thaw and freeze, it creates voids beneath the driveway. These holes allow the concrete driveway to slip out of position, resulting in more cracking and breaking. During the winter, the freeze-thaw cycle lifts portions of your driveway up, only to sink again when the weather changes.
Pitting and Spalling: These two concerns are both caused by weathering and usage, but they are worsened by the chemical during the winter months. The top layer of cement will crumble and shatter, producing irregular surfaces instead of smooth, level concrete.
To repair a concrete driveway you can acquire the help of a concrete contractor or if you have the experience you can do it yourself. After cleaning the concrete driveway, it’s time to fix the cracks. A polyurethane crack repair kit provides a moisture-sealed solution that stretches and contracts in response to temperature changes. Your ultimate solution will be determined by the depth and extent of the cracks, but you should always search for flexible and waterproof repair alternatives. It is also recommended that sealing expansion joints to reduce water seepage while allowing them to move with expansion and contraction.
Apply a concrete sealant
A protective coating put on concrete can assist waterproofing the surface, resisting stains, and preventing the formation of microscopic fractures and holes. A good sealant will fill small gaps and help minimize damage caused by cold weather. This stage can be completed on your own, with the assistance of concrete specialists, or by hiring a professional concrete contractor. If you have never used a driveway sealer to preserve your driveway, you should first check the weather forecast. Depending on the product, two to three days of dry weather are required to allow the sealant to thoroughly cure which is why it is vital to complete the sealing process before the winter months begin.
Check for proper drainage and avoid water damage
Rain and melting snow might pool due to poor drainage from a sloping driveway. When this happens throughout the winter, puddles become ice spots, which can cause dangerous skids, slides, and falls. Unaddressed drainage difficulties on or near a driveway can cause not only significant harm but also ongoing damage to the concrete, lowering its value. By keeping water away from the concrete’s surface, you prevent it from contracting and expanding when the temperature changes. As a result, it is critical to divert drainage away from the driveway. However, the most significant impediment is a defective drainage system.
One of the factors in maintaining the concrete in excellent condition regardless of seasonal changes is the installation of an appropriate drainage channel. Fortunately, there are several cost-efficient and practical drainage options for preventing water collection. One solution is to build a trench drain that intercepts water as it runs toward the low region. Alternatively, a local concrete contractor may undertake leveling repairs, making your surface flat and fixing sunken spots to avoid further water gathering.
Mark your driveway and walkways
Driveway markers should be used to indicate the perimeters of your path and driveway. If the ground is frozen, just drill a hole with your battery-powered drill and a masonry bit. Since snow plow operators have no reference point to discern where the street ends and your lawn edge begins, staking out along the curb is also beneficial for safeguarding your grass. Your grass and anything else buried by snow is in danger of being hit by the plow blade. However, by staking your grass with driveway markers for the winter, you may simply avoid this costly damage.
The arrival of winter may be disastrous for your outside concrete driveway. So, while you plan home upgrades, do not forget to include certain hacks for winterizing your concrete surfaces. Concrete, as a porous material, is not well-suited to the freeze-thaw cycles that occur throughout the winter. Lets face it, a new concrete driveway, sidewalk, or patio is not something you do every day. In general, the best course of action is to keep it as free of snow and ice as possible and prepare it for the winter months as soon as possible.