Caring for your Concrete Driveway in the Cold

In Chicago, winter is officially upon us. The cold and snow have already moved in and promise to stay for several months. You know how to care for your house and car in the cold weather, but have you thought about your concrete driveway? It’s just as important to consider keeping your driveway maintained this time of the year. Here are some tips on how to do that:

Avoid using de-icing materials

We know it can be tempting to use de-icing materials on your driveway when the freezing rain hits. However, the chemicals in these materials melt more than just the ice. They can actually penetrate the concrete, especially if it has been recently installed. This can lead to scaling and spalling in your driveway. Instead, use kitty litter or sand to help give your driveway traction without the harmful chemicals.

Keep your driveway clear of ice and snow

Shoveling can get exhausting, especially during Chicago’s snowstorms. But by shoveling regularly you can help prevent cracking. When snow and ice sits on the concrete, it can freeze into the surface, and crack the concrete when it thaws.

 

Seal your driveway

Sealing the concrete could help keep your driveway in the great condition it was installed in. Every two years or so, you should reseal your driveway, which you can do yourself or have professionally done. This adds a layer of protection to the concrete, which will help it survive the long winter.

 

Other small things you can do are: refraining from using metal shovels or blades on the concrete (which can scratch the concrete), not leaving heavy machinery or vehicles on the driveway (which can cause cracks), and regularly cleaning your driveway (which prevents staining). This winter, don’t forget about your outdoor concrete and take some or all of these steps to keep it looking brand new!

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Cassie Vu