Driveway Gritting and de-icing

January 27th, 2013

Driveway Gritting and De-icing and the weather

Due to the heavy fall of snow here in  the Nottingham, Derby, Leicester, Chesterfield and Sheffield areas over the past couple of weeks  it has made us here at Drive-Cote think about the situation.  We remind ourselves of  the possible damaging effects the bad Winter weather and  gritting and de-icing can have on our homes, gardens, driveways,  paths and patios. 

When I was watching the BBC One show one of the guests mentioned about how it can affect our best friends (our four and two legged friends) so I contacted the NCC — Nottinghamshire CC (@NottsCC) January 25, 2013 gritting department  via twitter  @drivecoteltd  and they gave me  details- the  RSPCA – advice on the effects of rock salt on pets  and they gave me some very useful info but it got us thinking.

I think  one  important thing to remember is that it is a necessary evil and perhaps  Olive is on the right road!

How does this  affect the our driveway of  concrete (which includes imprinted concrete), tarmac, block paving and slabs

Frost damage to

  • CONCRETE driveways paths and  patios  is sometimes called  heave. The soil  or surface below the  driveway  has a water content which forms into ice.  This can provide enough pressure  to lift and crack areas  of the concrete  driveway path or patio.  Newly laid concrete can become affected if the  water in the concrete freezes also known as spalling.  The best  form is prevention.  With  a correctly and well laid surface this should not happen.  Concrete is not an  indestructible product but it is a very tough and durable product.  Surface damage is not ideal, and does not look very nice but it is a better option than the alternative of a structural damage like heave.
  • TARMAC can be  due to the the expansion and contraction of  water after it has seeped through the tarmac.  Cold temperatures cause the water  to freeze.  It can then  expand. This can then crack and  can weaken the tarmac when ice melts. Gaps or voids in the surface  occur which can form into pothole like areas on roads
  • Slabs and Block paving. As these both have independent  sections slabs these are a little different.  Depending on how well they have been laid and how impermeable the joints are  they can become uneven, especially at the edges.  This can then allow the ingress of water enabling once again the freeze thaw.  In addition they can be a slip and trip hazard and this is where a type of anti slip surfacing may help.

With regard to the roads what happens when salt is brought into the picture ? Water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Salt added lowers the temperature that water will freeze. This creates an artificial freeze-thaw cycle and therefore can allow more occurrences of the damaging cycle to occur.  Springtime is worse  because of the melting that takes place and because the temperatures fluctuating above and below the freezing point very frequently

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