Chicago Winters SUCK…..for your pavement!
If you’re like a lot of Midwesterners, somewhere deep down you love the winter– or….not so much. Either way, here in the heart of the country, people gain a very healthy respect for all seasons simply because they’re apt to experience any one of them at any given time–and without much notice.
And because of that, if you’re a homeowner in Chicago, you have to stay on your toes. Property maintenance during the winter months is vital to the long life of any home. And one area that suffers the most is the driveway.
Whether asphalt or concrete, driveways and walkways near your home take a serious beating during the winter. And sometimes the care we provide can actually defeat its own purpose in the long run if it involves chemical deicing agents or corrosive rock salt.
For homeowners who want to maintain their curb appeal without the usual sting of such products, the best way to prevent damage from snow and ice is to prep your driveway in the months just prior to the first snow.
But if the unpredictable Windy City weather has caught you off guard, don’t worry. You can still keep your driveway ship shape this winter without the risk of damage commercial deicing can bring.
A Gritty Solution:
The constant freezing and thawing of Chicago winters can be treacherous on pavement, causing a seemingly endless cycle of expanding and contrasting that almost inevitably leads to cracking, and that can easily make your property
look run down. Chemical deicers, which use powerful compounds to break up ice an snow, add to the thawing and freezing cycle and further damage the surface. The old standby, rock salt, poses less of a threat, but is still damaging and can harm the growth of nearby vegetation. For homeowners looking for a less corrosive deicing solution this winter, cat litter or sand go a long way toward gaining the traction the crunchy stuff offers.
And Away It Goes: As for snow removal, you’ll simply need to be vigilant. There’s no greener way of protecting your driveway during the winter months than shoveling the white stuff as soon as it comes down. Of course, there are a variety of alternatives to shoveling, and when you do shovel, there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it (see our snow removal tips).
It’s also important to ensure you remove any slush and snow that collect on your driveway and areas near your garage. Though you may not apply deicing chemicals yourself, your vehicle may drop snow with these deicing fluids picked up from other areas during your drive. Over time these can build up and render the same damage to your driveway.
Bottom line is while caring for your pavement is indeed a year-round job and sealing, cleaning and prepping paved surfaces for Chicago winters sometimes drop off of your to-do list, if the winter months have indeed caught you off-guard, there are still ways you can protect the concrete or asphalt surfaces around your home and keep that curb appeal without damaging your driveways in the long run.
With a little effort, you can make it into the spring and get on a year-round plan for long term care of your home’s driveway.
If you are looking for a Handyman Company in the Chicago area, please call Punch List at 773-935-7727 or click here to fill out our online request form