Angie's List: The hidden cost of a snow shoveling short-cut - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Angie's List: The hidden cost of a snow shoveling short-cut

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(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. In our Angie’s List report, we may have some painful advice if you’ve been using a short-cut 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,” says Angie Hicks, founder of Angie's List.

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

“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,” says Hughie Corrigan, owner of C.A.P.S. Road materials.  “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.”

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

Experts say concrete in any climate that goes through a freeze-thaw cycles should be sealed 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 service 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 drive way, she says.

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