Concrete driveways provide a more aesthetically pleasing and durable alternative to asphalt, but come with the caveat of being susceptible to damage due to low temperatures. This means that the winter months can wreak all sorts of havoc to your driveway. Fortunately, there are a few different things that you can do to adequately prepare your concrete driveway for freezing weather to prevent cracks and other forms of damage from taking hold.
The first thing that you should do to proactively protect the surface of your concrete driveway is hire a concrete service to seal the surface of your driveway before the temperature dips below freezing and the snow falls. Cracks form in concrete driveways when water is able to be absorbed into the material, since the freezing temperatures of winter will cause that water to freeze and thus expand, forcing cracks to begin to appear in your driveway. Once cracks have appeared, it's much easier for more water to enter, and the cycle will repeat itself. Concrete sealants are designed to prevent moisture from seeping into your concrete, which will greatly reduce the risk of any cracks developing in the first place.
Proper Snow Removal
Another common cause of winter damage to concrete driveways is because of metal snow shovels and other snow removal equipment that can cut grooves into the surface of your driveway and mar its appearance. Further, chemical deicers and rock salt can also cause increased wear to your driveway's surface and make staining and discoloration much more likely. In order to properly remove snow from your driveway, you should make use of plastic equipment, or mechanized equipment like a snow blower to reduce the stress on your back, and use kitty litter or sand to provide grip on ice instead of using chemicals to melt it.
Finally, in order to minimize the amount of water that your driveway is exposed to in the spring once the temperature rises above freezing again, you should make sure that your driveway's drainage system is free and clear of debris, or contact a paving professional to have a drainage system installed. Drains in your driveway or along the sides will prevent water from pooling on the surface of your driveway, which can cause structural damage, or from eroding the soil underneath, which can cause the surface of your driveway to shift and become uneven, eventually resulting in structural issues as well.