How To – Winter Repair Of Concrete And Driveway Damage

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    Unfortunately there are times in the dead of winter when you need to repair or at the very least patch a section of damaged Concrete or Driveway. I say it is unfortunate because the materials that you need to perform a permanent repair are either not available or will not cure correctly when temperatures drop below freezing.

    In the dead of winter you are likely to find that  mix companies that provide delivery of asphalt or concrete have closed and the only available materials you may be able to find are frozen into solid blocks at your local contractor supply center.

    On the other hand you may find a concrete service that can provide you a mix with antifreeze which will allow for pouring of the material but it will not provide overnight protection. In these cases usually commercial settings heating blankets are actually used to heat the material for a minimum of 7 hours and often days to ensure a proper cure.

    Special asphalt mixes used by government street workers in the winter are only for patching and can not stand up to long term general use. They are also delivered to the site in special trucks that can provide heat to keep the mix liquid enough to fill a pothole but instead of a thick layer only about 2 inches of material are used as a cap over a stone bed.

    If the repair is on a city sidewalk that you are required to maintain then you will need to contact your local streets department for suggestions on how to patch the area until a permanent fix can be made.



    If you need to patch an area on your own property then you have a number of solutions available to you.

    You can break up the heaved section of material and then add a half-minus grade of stone which is half inch or smaller stone and then compact it. This is fine for areas that will see minimal traffic and are not the main entrance to your home.

    Bring the material up to grade with the surrounding sidewalk then display a small warning sign in case a delivery person happens to use this pathway and trips. You do not want to get sued for their lack of looking where they are walking.

    If you have a heaved section of driveway a large sledge hammer may be able to break down the area of the heave allowing you to fill the rest of the area with half-minus stone however this can be a lot of work and you may be better off renting an electric jack hammer.

    If you can warm the bagged asphalt in your garage for about 24 hours you should be able to patch or cap the area whether it be on a sidewalk or driveway.

    Remember that the solution that you are applying will only be a temporary one and once spring comes you can expect to redo the work by sectioning out a larger portion and replacing it with standard materials.

    View your local 10 day weather report and pick the best day to do the work but put up warning tape or cones if the problem is dangerous.

    Hire a contractor if the repairs you make can be taken off your local taxes or if you need to comply with local regulations.

    Ask your contractor to evaluate the problem first and decide if any local water or sewer pipes may be the cause. If this is true then your public works department may cover the cost and do the work for you.

    Most Municipalities will understand that final work can not be completed and will not harass you but looking the other way can result in fines especially in areas where you must clean snow from pathways and provide safe passage across your property.

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