Concrete driveways are extremely popular because of their durability, sturdiness and look, which needs very little maintenance over its lifetime. But if you want to keep your concrete driveway looking its best then it will need some maintenance every now and again. Concrete driveways are constantly exposed to harsh sunlight and extreme weather, which may cause cracks from expansion. Besides filling small cracks that may appear you also need to reseal your driveway every two years at least. You can hire expert help for the job if you have a large driveway. Here are some rules you should follow to preserve your concrete driveway in the best possible condition.
Keep Your Driveway Clean
The most important step in maintaining an attractive driveway is regularly cleaning any debris from your concrete driveway. Use gentle chemicals to clean your drive, or even opt for power washing to remove dirt and moss build up. Stains from oil, gasoline, or grease spills should be removed immediately or else it may cause an unsightly discoloration. If there is any concrete discoloration, pressure washing and use of certain cleaning chemicals will remove most of the stains.
Most concrete driveways are finished off with a specialist sealant after the concrete is poured and set, to prevent stains. But the sealant wears down over time. Depending on the weather conditions the concrete is exposed to and the traffic it withstands, you may have to clean and reseal more often to keep it looking its best. Ideally it needs to be reapplied every couple of years to keep your concrete driveway clean and safe from harsh elements, general wear and traffic. You may have to re-seal earlier when signs of wear and tear begin to show on the finish. Apply commercial sealers available in concrete material suppliers and hardware stores and only according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Do Not Use De-icing Chemicals
Avoid the use of de-icers on your concrete driveway during the winter as it can cause surface damage, including scaling and spalling. New concrete is even more susceptible to harmful salt. De-icing chemicals force the thawing and refreezing of moisture in concrete doing damage to the structure. Even cracks may begin to develop. Do not use products with ammonium nitrates and ammonium sulphates because they attack the concrete chemically. While rock salt (sodium chloride) or calcium chloride does less damage, they do pose a risk to vegetation and also corrode metal. You may be better off using sand for traction.
Handle With Care
Despite being a durable paving material for residential driveway construction, concrete requires proper care. While it can withstand the typical light, residential driveway traffic, it isn’t engineered to support heavy vehicles, large work vans, heavy machinery or large construction equipment. Be careful when plowing or shoveling your driveway with sharp tools as the metal blades can scrape or scratch the surface. Surface damage can lead to water damage, wherein water seeps through the concrete resulting in extensive damage to the structure.
Replacing Your Drive
When the driveway gets old or damaged, it will need replacing. It is possible to remove just the damaged sections to fill the gaps with new concrete, but it will not result in a strong bond and the colors may not match with different aggregates. When the damage is not just on the surface but has reached the body of the concrete, it may not be worth your time or money to repair the surface. Instead consider starting over to replace your concrete drive for an attractive and sturdy finish.
We at Davis Concrete can help you decide on the right strength and grade for your concrete driveway requirements.