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  • Writer's pictureMitch Frye

Minnesota's Guide to Driveway Care: John & Jerry's Tips for Snow Plow Safety

Common Signs of Driveway Damage After Snow Plowing

  1. Improper Plowing and Lack of Preparedness: Damage often occurs due to untrained plow operators and using the wrong equipment. It's advised to get training or hire professionals​.

  2. Use of Soft Plow Edge: To avoid asphalt or concrete damage, it's recommended to use polyurethane or rubber edges on the plow​.

  3. Setting Blade Height: Setting the plow blade about half an inch above the surface can prevent direct contact with the driveway and reduce damage

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  2. Visibility of Driveway Edges: Curbs and driveway edges are prone to damage. Using markers can help plow operators avoid these areas​.

  3. Protective Sealants: Applying sealants can protect the driveway from extreme temperatures and physical stress, including plowing operations​.

  4. Normal Deterioration: Acknowledge that expansion and contraction processes will gradually wear down the pavement, not all damage is due to plowing​.

Effects of Snow and Ice on Asphalt and Concrete Driveways

  1. Freeze-Thaw Cycles: Water entering tiny crevices freezes and expands, causing cracks to form or widen​.

  2. Deicers: Harsh deicers like salt can create small cracks, leading to bigger gaps and holes over time​.

  3. Snow Removal Methods: Using a lightweight plastic shovel is recommended to prevent scratching the surface​.

  4. Regular Maintenance: Fix small cracks immediately, fill gaps with sealant, and conduct annual professional checks​.

Preventative Measures for Driveway Protection in Winter

  1. Clearing Snow Properly: Clear snow right away to prevent ice formation, push snow to one side to avoid flooding conditions, and avoid metal tools that can scratch or chip the driveway​.

  2. Alternative Snow Removal Methods: Consider using snow blowers for light snowfalls to avoid scraping the driveway surface​.

  3. Professional Snow Removal Services: Experienced services can use methods to minimize driveway damage, such as using rubber or polyurethane cutting edges on plow blades and setting them correctly

When to Consider Professional Repair

  1. Significant Cracks or Gouges: If plowing or natural wear has caused visible and deep damage.

  2. Uneven Surfaces: An uneven driveway increases the risk of damage during plowing and can be a tripping hazard​.

  3. After Heavy Snow Seasons: Regular inspections, especially after harsh winters, are crucial to address any emerging issues.

Long-term Benefits of Timely Driveway Maintenance and Repair

  1. Preventing Further Damage: Small cracks can become larger issues if not addressed.

  2. Cost-Efficiency: Early repairs can prevent more costly replacements later on.

  3. Safety and Aesthetics: Maintaining a smooth and well-maintained driveway enhances safety and curb appeal.

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