Angie’s List: Hidden Cost of Snow Shoveling Shortcut

ANGIE’S LIST (WKOW) — Your kids may be dreaming of a snow day but if you’re dealing with getting your family in and out of the house safely, those days might be nightmares for you. And in today’s Angie’s List report, we may have some painful advice if you’ve been using a shortcut to get rid of the ice and snow.

If you hate to shovel snow, chloride-containing salt and de-icer are your go-to tools to clear the drive and sidewalk. But you may not want to pay the hidden price of that easier-than-shoveling stuff.

“The worst enemy of any driveway is salt and de-icer in the winter. So you want to be very careful and avoid using those. The best maintenance for a concrete driveway you may not want to hear is actually using a shovel, a snow-blower or a snow plow”, said Angie’s List Founder, Angie Hicks.

Experts say a correctly installed concrete driveway should last 40 to 50 years if it’s taken care of properly.

Hughie Corrigan says, “Once you damage a concrete driveway, if you scuff it or something of that sort, you can patch it. It’s going to show up pretty bad.”

“If you, if you, shovel the driveway, the main thing is, whether you have asphalt or concrete don’t take a shovel and just chip at the ice on top of it because you’ll damage the surface,” said Corrigan

Resurfacing a concrete driveway can cost a few hundred dollars or more than a thousand depending on how much damage has occurred.

Experts say you should seal concrete in any climate that goes through a freeze-thaw cycle to prevent this kind of damage. Some sealants will provide a good barrier against all types of materials seeping into the concrete for up to 10 years; others as little as a year.

Angie recommends you talk with a pro to determine what your driveway needs to stay in the smoothest, best shape as long as possible. Remember that curb appeal includes the appearance and condition of your driveway, she says.

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