Concrete is an extremely durable material that is ideal for hardscaping installations within your overall landscaping design, including use as a driveway or patio paving material. However, like all other types of paving materials, the inclement weather conditions that the winter season brings with it can cause all sorts of damage to the surface of your concrete. Fortunately, there are a number of steps that you can take to make sure that your concrete construction is able to withstand the freezing weather and winter conditions without becoming damaged.
Seal Your Driveway
The best way that you can protect the surface of your concrete surface from moisture damage and freezing temperatures is to get it sealed during the fall months before the temperature actually dips below freezing and any snow falls. This coating provides a second layer of durability on the top of your driveway that will help prevent moisture and physical damage. Having a layer of sealant over the top of your driveway will also prevent water from getting into the cracks which may already exist in the surface of your concrete, reducing the risk that they will expand over the course of the winter.
Proper Snow Removal
The most common reason why the surface of your concrete driveway or paved surface will become damaged after the snow has fallen is because you're using the wrong tools to remove accumulated snow. Metal shovels and plows can carve their way into your concrete, which can also expose the unsealed interior of your concrete to moisture damage that can quickly turn into cracking and other forms of structural damage that can ruin the integrity of your paved surface. To prevent this from happening, you should make use of plastic shovels to clear away your concrete, or for a more efficient option, a snowblower.
Salt and chemical de-icing chemicals can wreak all sorts of havoc on the surface of your concrete. Salt will hold on to moisture and make it much more likely for melted snow to seep into the concrete, which can cause cracking as already mentioned above. Commercial chemical de-icing products, however, are even worse: the harsh chemicals within them can actually begin to degrade the surface of your concrete and make it more susceptible to all sorts of physical damage and discoloration, not just cracking. As an alternative to provide grip and prevent slipping on icy buildup, you should make use of sand or cat litter to spread over the surface of your driveway.