Winter is coming and it is coming fast! If you have a concrete driveway you may be asking yourself, “when should I put salt on my driveway?”. If you want your driveway to last, DO NOT USE SALT FOR SNOW REMOVAL.
Having a concrete driveway is highly desirable due to its durability over a long period of time.
Here are the Do’s and Don’ts of preparing your driveway for winter and a long, strong life.
DON’T Use Salt for Snow Removal on your Concrete Driveway.
Yes, salt is the quickest and easiest way to melt snow. Salt also creates an extremely strong chemical reaction that eats away at concrete like Joey Chestnut on Hotdogs.
“But Vito, I use Dog friendly salt, it doesn’t damage concrete like regular salt.” FALSE. This dog friendly salt is still salt and eats at the surface of your driveway.
What does salt do to my driveway? After potentially a single application, salt can and will eat the concrete away from your driveway leaving visible pits.
After multiple applications over time, your driveway will have so many deep pits that it will begin to crumble.
Once your driveway begins to pit and crumble, there really is no turning back. Avoid using salt at all cost if you want your driveway to stand the test of time.
DO clean off any vehicles you leave on your driveway over night
To piggy back on the no salt stuff, your car picks up salt off the main roads and when you park your beautiful machine on your beautiful driveway, the salt from the road starts to drip off your car.
Before I pull into my driveway, I get out and kick off any piles of snow I’ve accumulated behind my tires. You do not have to bring your car to the car wash every snowfall, but removing any salty snow from your tire wells will help reduce pitting dramatically.
DON’T use an ice chipper to break up ice on your driveway.
Ice chippers are a great way to break up ice, however, they will chip your driveway as well. I have received calls over the years of people who want me to fix their driveway after they went to town on the ice with a chipper.
This is not a fixable problem and extremely noticeable.
Concrete is very strong but can be damaged with the right tools, so please do not smack an ice chipper down through the ice on your driveway into the concrete.
DO seal your driveway with a penetrating sealer before the winter hits.
There are a couple of different brands of sealer you can use to protect against salt penetration. Sealing your driveway does not give permission to use salt, however, it helps when salt inevitably falls on your driveway.
We use SaltGuard Sealer and have had great success with it over the years.
You will need a sprayer to apply the sealer as well.
Winter comes and goes every year and we want to limit its affect on our concrete. So even though it may be more work, please protect your driveway from salt and abuse over the beautiful winter season!