Now that the cold weather is beginning to bite, it’s worth paying special attention to the driveway at the front of your house. If we’re going to minimise the likelihood of an accident, then we’ll need to make this surface safe and slip-resistant, for both vehicles and pedestrians.
Moreover, we should seek to maintain the surface, and thereby minimise the cost of repair work in the long term.
But exactly what is the right way to do this? Let’s take a look at a few basic checks worth performing.
Regular Visual Checks
A close look at the surface can often reveal a problem before it has a chance to inflict any damage. Be on the lookout for spreading cracks, bumpy sections, or other signs of wear and tear.
In paved driveways, the problems will usually manifest around the edges of the slabs. Check for movement on the slabs by standing on them. If the underlying material has been eroded, then you’ll get movement, which means that the slab is at risk of giving way.
In some cases, it’s necessary to bring up the paving slabs and replace them. Fail to do this, and you might be setting yourself for more expense in the long term.
Clearing Snow and Debris
Where snow and ice are allowed to stand on the surface, they’ll cause damage. As the snow melts, it will seep into the cracks in your drive before freezing again. This process will break apart the driveway over time. On top of all that, the presence of ice will increase the likelihood of you or someone else suffering a trip or fall.
Clear away snow and other debris promptly. Invest in a heavy snow shovel and attack the problem as soon as it manifests.
What about de-icing products?
There are a number of chemical products which will enhance your grip and melt snow even in extreme temperatures. However, these products are often very harsh on concrete and plants. Rock salt and sand do the same job, and they’re usually more than up to the task in the UK.
When to de-ice?
If you have heavy snowfall forecast, then you might wish to apply these de-icing products in advance. That way, the bottom layer of snow will remain liquid, making it much easier to scoop up the rest. Concentrate your efforts in the high-priority areas where you’re likely to be walking (or driving).