Taking care of your driveway for the winter starts well before the snow falls, and continues until the spring rains. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you through the toughest snow storm. We’ve got your winter driveway maintenance covered!
Before the snow starts
In the fall, cover any shrubs with burlap to protect them from wind-burn or salt. Hammer in a tall stake nearby so that when snow is high you don’t accidentally shovel or snow blow over them! If your driveway is paved, make sure it is sealed to prevent cracks.
Choose the right shovel
Go for a shovel with an s-shaped handle – it’s more ergonomic and your back will thank you! Spray some non-stick cooking spray (like Pam) on your shovel blade before each use and the snow will slide off easily. If you are shoveling your wooden deck or a path over soft earth, use a plastic shovel to prevent damage.
Be careful where you pile snow
Not every surface can handle the large snow piles from your shoveling! Keep the snow away from the foundation walls of your house or anything with untreated wood. When the snow melts it can cause water damage to these surfaces.
Choose your de-icer wisely
Salt, magnesium chloride and calcium chloride can be sprinkled over slippery surfaces to melt snow and ice. All chemicals should be stored in a sealed container off the ground to keep them dry. Always wear gloves when spreading chemicals on surfaces.
For best results, read the directions for your de-icer. Find out what temperature your de-icer needs to function best- some require warmer weather or else they won’t activate.
Try environmentally friendly options
Unfortunately, many chemical de-icers can be harsh and even poisonous for plants, pets, and young children. To add grip to slippery surfaces, you can try sandbox sand, or alfalfa meal- a fertilizer that your plants will love!
Break through thick ice
If you have really thick ice on your driveway, chemical de-icers may not work. Try using a slate bar or wrecking bar, a long black bar that is pointed on one end and flat on the other. Use it to break through the ice and wedge it off the driveway. Keeping ice free will prevent flooding when the spring rains hit!
Do you have a strategy to tackle the snow and ice in your driveway? How do you fight the ice every winter?