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snow shovelWhile making our AKB home enhancements, we often have to park our trucks or trailers in out of the way locations in order to prevent damage to a driveway or landscaping.  This reminds me of the damage a lot of us do to our driveways in the winter by shoveling and improper salting. Here are a few tips to reduce the impact of getting the unwanted off of your driveway this winter:

  • Plastic Using a plastic shovel instead of a metal one might not only save your back, but a few years on your driveway too. Metal shovels can easily chip and gouge, making existing or small cracks wider. Cracks are the enemy. Once water freezes in a crack it expands, further separating and possibly breaking the stone. The edge on a plastic shovel is a little more forgiving.
  • Pavers If your driveway is surfaced with paving stones, be careful not to dig your shovel or snow blower into any stones that may have risen or shifted during the freeze. In the fall, give your driveway a good walk over and try to take care of any problem stones before the freeze, tamping down any raised stones or replacing cracked ones.
  • Concrete Instead of plain rock salt, consider using a less damaging de-icer like Calcium Chloride. Also, if your driveway is concrete, make sure to seal it every three to five years.
  • Gravel For gravel driveways, it’s actually better to shovel when it’s the coldest. When snow begins to melt and moisten the surface of the gravel driveway, it is easy to pick up some of the smaller material that acts as a binding agent to some of the larger rocks. Shoveling when everything is frozen helps prevent that.
  • Snowblowers For those using a snow blower—keeping the blades about a half-inch from the surface will prevent any major damage, while still clearing out the bulk of the snow, regardless of your driveway’s surface.

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February 20, 2010

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