A snowy driveway may seem a wintery delight, but did you know it may be wearing away your brand-new pavement? In fact, research reveals that winter weather conditions can amplify the risk of damage to driveways.
This blog aims to enlighten homeowners about how snow might lead their beautiful asphalt or concrete driveway to premature deterioration and what preventive measures they can take.
Dive in and arm yourself with knowledge for defending your newest investment from Old Man Winter’s icy grip.
How Snow Can Damage Your New Driveway
Snow can severely damage a fresh driveway through cycles of freezing and thawing. This alternating pattern expands and contracts your pavement, leading to cracks. In addition, melting snow creates water run-off that pools on the surface, causing asphalt or concrete deterioration over time.
The frequent use of deicers speeds up this process as these agents break down the materials in your driveway. Moreover, plowing snow off the driveway can cause scratches or gouges on its surface if not done carefully.
Snow turns into water when it melts. This water can slip into the tiny cracks in your driveway. Then, if the weather gets cold again, this water will freeze. The freezing process makes the water grow bigger.
So, when it freezes inside of a crack in your driveway, it can make the crack larger. Over time, this freeze-and-thaw cycle can cause big damage to your driveway.
Snow makes water runoff, and it can pool on your driveway. If this happens a lot, it can hurt your new drive path. Then you get pools of water that ice up as temperatures drop. This is bad for concrete driveways and asphalt pavements.
So, protect against winter weather damage! Keep an eye out for too much water after a snowfall impact or other flooding conditions. Snow removal helps avoid these problems and keeps your drive path safe.
Deicers can harm your driveway. Most deicers, like rock salt, snack on concrete driveways. They eat away the top layer of the surface and cause cracks. The cycle of freeze-thaw worsens these cracks.
Asphalt pavements face a similar fate, too. The melting snow from deicers seeps into small holes in the asphalt, making them bigger over time. Sometimes, this damage demands costly repair work or even full replacement.
To avoid such harsh outcomes, opt for less aggressive alternatives such as calcium magnesium acetate or sand to aid with ice removal.
Plowing can hurt your driveway. A heavy shovel or a big snowplow machine could crack the asphalt or the concrete slabs, as they can chip or break if you hit them too hard. Also, the blades on some plows can scrape off the top layer of your driveway.
It’s best to use a lightweight plastic shovel for snow removal to avoid damaging your pavement.
Preventing Snow Damage to Your Driveway
Clearing Snow Properly to Protect Driveway Damage
Avoiding Harsh Deicers
Harsh deicers can harm your driveway. They create small cracks when they melt the ice. These cracks make a place for water to go in. The water then freezes and expands, making the crack bigger.
Over time, this leads to big gaps and holes that are costly to fix. Salt is one type of harsh deicer some people use on snow or ice, but it’s not great for driveways as it wears them down quickly.
So try other safer options such as calcium magnesium acetate (CMA) or sand for grip instead of salt next winter!
Other Snow Damages - Roof Damage
Snow and ice can pose significant risks to roofs as well, causing various forms of damage that require careful attention.
One common issue is the formation of ice dams, where melted snow refreezes at the eaves due to inadequate insulation and ventilation. These ice dams can trap water, leading to seepage under shingles and into the roof’s interior, causing leaks, water damage, and potential structural issues. Using a roof rake to carefully remove excess snow from the edges of the roof can help prevent ice dams from forming.
On flat roofs, accumulated snow and ice can create added stress due to their weight, potentially exceeding the roof’s load-bearing capacity. The weight of snow and ice, especially after ice storms, can cause sagging, weakening, or even collapse of the roof structure. Regular maintenance to remove accumulated snow, particularly after heavy snowfall, can alleviate this risk.
Freeze-thaw cycles, characteristic of winter weather, can lead to the expansion and contraction of roofing components, resulting in cracks and deterioration.
How To Stop Roof Snow Damage
To mitigate snow-related roof damage, it’s important to maintain proper insulation and ventilation to prevent ice dams.
Regularly remove excess snow using safe practices, such as a roof rake, to prevent excessive weight and potential collapse. Consider roof heating systems to help melt snow and prevent ice dams. After severe ice storms, inspect the roof for signs of damage and promptly address any issues to prevent leaks and structural problems.
By understanding the potential risks and taking proactive measures, you can safeguard your roof against the detrimental effects of snow and ice during winter months.
Snow hurts your new driveway and your roof – that’s for certain.
The freeze and thaw cycles will move your concrete slabs or pavers in place, and the snow melting on your roof can seep into the attic and create serious problems, like mold and moisture, that can further lead to rot and decay of the framing of your home.
The best way to avoid roof and driveway snow damage is to not allow any ice dam to form on your roof, remove fresh snow before it starts melting, and shovel the snow on your driveway.
Farrell’s Lawn And Garden can help you out with this! Our snow removal service ensures your home remains safe from any damage caused by snow.