Do Snow Plows Damage Driveways?
Winter is upon us, and snow has already begun to fall in many parts of the U.S. Many people rely on plows to clear the snow from the roads and their driveways so they can drive to work and other destinations.
Plowing the snow from your driveway can make for easier entries to and exits from your driveway. It can also help prevent slip and falls as you walk from your car to your house or your house to the mailbox.
The benefits of plowing your driveway are obvious. It’s certainly quicker and easier than using a snow shovel to clear the area. But are there drawbacks? Can a snow plow damage your driveway?In this article, we discuss all you need to know about snow plows and the risk snow removal poses to your driveway.
How Do Snow Plows Work?
There are several different types of snow plows. Some must be pushed manually. Others must be attached to the front of a truck or another vehicle.
Most mounted plows consist of a straight or v-shaped metal blade ranging from six to nine feet in width. The bottom edge of the plow is curved so it can push the snow forward and then to the side of the road. These plows can typically be adjusted electrically or hydraulically to position the plow to clear snow.
How Much Snow Must Be on the Ground Before You Plow?
There is no standard amount of snow that must fall before you plow your driveway. Many people don’t plow their driveway until there is six inches or more of snow. Local ordinances might require plowing when the road has a certain amount of snow, but generally, these ordinances apply to roads, not driveways.
In truth, you should plow your driveway before it becomes difficult to enter and exit. This will make snow removal easier and keep you from making mistakes that could damage your driveway. It can also reduce the risk of slip and fall injuries from the snow.
How Snow Plows Damage Driveways
Dragging a metal plow blade across your driveway can impact the integrity of the concrete. The metal blade can cause chips, gouges, or cracks in the driveway. The plow can also cause existing cracks to get worse.
Additionally, many features of your driveway may not be visible under the snow, including curbs, sidewalks, and landscaping. Snow plows present a high potential for damage to these features, especially if your snow plow services aren’t familiar with your driveway.
The Dangers of a Damaged Driveway
There are many dangers of a damaged driveway. Driveways with serious cracks and holes can:
- Damage your car over time — especially your tires, alignment, and suspension.
- More damage to the driveway — water that fills in the cracks and potholes can threaten the construction of your driveway and cause drainage issues.
- Expensive repairs — repairing a damaged driveway can be extremely expensive, especially if it requires excavation.
It’s always best to fix cracks and holes in your driveway as soon as you detect them. Repairs may seem pricey but will be much more manageable than resurfacing or redoing your driveway.
How to Avoid Damage to Your Driveway from a Snow Plow
To avoid damaging your driveway, you should keep your plow at least half an inch off the ground when plowing. This will ensure that your plow is pushing and dragging across the snow — not the concrete.
If you are not experienced with a plow, you should consider enlisting the services of a professional snow removal company. Experienced plow drivers will have more experience maintaining the plow at a safe distance from your driveway.