Driveway Clearing and Maintenance

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6 Awesome Driveway Clearing Tips for Winter

Living in New Jersey means snow, ice, and freezing rain are likely once winter arrives. Not only does the winter weather cause residents stress from time to time, but it also can be detrimental to outdoor property, including driveways. Just like homeowners take care of their lawn seasonally from spring through fall, it’s important they tend to their driveway in the winter. Proper driveway clearing is one of the many activities that can help prolong the life of a driveway and landscape.

When the snow melts and refreezes in the northeast, cracks form on driveways, which can lead to holes and a need for a driveway replacement. Before the snow arrives, it is recommended that homeowners inspect their driveway, cleaning and seal-coating any cracks to prevent water from seeping below the surface. Once water makes its way into the driveway, it can refreeze, causing bulges and larger breaks in the asphalt.

Six Driveway Clearing Tips

Here are some of our favorite driveway clearing tips to help you this winter.

Purchase the right shovel.

If you already have one, you should inspect your shovel at the beginning of the season. Pay close attention to the edges and corners; if these are bent, they can cause damage during driveway clearing. The best shovels are lightweight plastic or aluminum with a nonstick coating with an ergonomically friendly handle.

Clear snow every three to four inches.

Plenty of individuals wait until the storm is over to tackle the driveway. If eight or more inches accumulated, it can be challenging to take care of clearing the snow. Instead, it is better to clear the driveway every three to four inches when possible. Not only is it easier to shovel snow in smaller amounts, but it also prevents the weight of wet snow from damaging the driveway.

Use sand instead of rock salt.

Rock salt is a favorite de-icer, but few people understand how it can destroy a driveway. Since it encourages melting, it is more likely for moisture and the rock salt to leak into small cracks in the driveway and create larger cracks. Sand doesn’t melt the ice and snow, but it does help with traction and preventing falls on slippery surfaces.

Use a push broom when possible.

Not every snowfall needs to be cleared with a shovel. For those that are less than an inch, a push broom works just as well to move snow off the driveway. A broom is much gentler on the driveway surface.

Consider a snowblower.

The biggest benefit of a snow blower is that you can clear snow much faster with far less strain on your body. They also don’t cause wear and tear to the driveway like the constant scraping of a shovel can, as long as the blade is adjusted correctly.

Interview snow plow services.

Depending on the size of your property, hiring a professional for snow removal around the house may be the best option this winter. Before you hire, take the time to ask questions about their process. Look for a company that uses blades with rubber edges instead of metal to avoid driveway damage.

Even though your lawn may be covered in snow, be mindful of where you place the snow and how you shovel. Markers can guide you when you’re shoveling to ensure you don’t damage your sleeping lawn underneath. Perennial Lawn Care can help with seasonal, customized programs to make sure you have a lawn that makes you proud!

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