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RISMEDIA, Sept. 27, 2008-While snow isn’t on most of our minds this time of year, now is the time for homeowners to get their concrete driveways and walks ready for winter. Snow and ice can cause damage, diminishing a home’s curb appeal! So before you get out the snow shovel, here are a few simple steps to protect your walkways and driveways from inclement winter weather.

Apply Sealer

A sealer should be applied during October or November to prevent flaking or pitting during harsh winter weather. The concrete should first be cleaned by power washing, and then the silane or siloxane based penetrating sealer applied according to manufacturers’ recommendations. The sealer should last for three to 10 years, depending on traffic.

Shovel Regularly

You can help maintain concrete by shoveling the snow from your driveway, sidewalk and steps regularly. By keeping the snow cleared, there is less chance that moisture will penetrate the surface. The fewer times that water enters concrete and freezes, the less likely that it will become damaged.

Select the Right Tools

Bent or sharp corners of a worn metal shovel can damage the surface of concrete, which may lead additional deterioration. Do not use picks or other sharp tools to break up or remove ice from the driveway. This will prevent damage to the surface of your driveway.

Avoid Salt and Chemicals

While exposure to de-icing salts cannot be completely avoided, it is important to limit the amount of de-icing salts applied directly to the concrete. This is especially important during the first year after the concrete is laid. De-icers containing ammonium sulfate or ammonium nitrate, as well as certain lawn fertilizers, chemically attack concrete. They should never be applied.

Your concrete driveway should remain low-maintenance, durable and long-lasting if you take these few steps to protect it from the elements. Learn more about properly maintaining your driveway by contacting your
local concrete producer or contractor, or click here.