Your concrete driveway has taken some abuse from fluctuating temperatures through the winter, and with summer here, it is the perfect time to inspect your driveway and get some maintenance work done. Concrete is a much favored building material for driveways, primarily because they are durable and can last for decades. Albeit, depending on how well installed they were and if they have received regular maintenance. Many people mistakenly think concrete driveways require no maintenance whatsoever, but to best ensure functionality for years to come, it does pay to clean and seal the concrete driveway. What may seem like a minor issue now may soon be an expensive problem if ignored. Here are some maintenance practices Davis Concrete recommends in order to preserve value for your concrete driveway.
Inspect Your Driveway
Summer is a good time to get a close look at your driveway’s surface to look for signs of cracks, crumbling concrete, weed growth. Sweep away leaves and branches to get a good look at the surface and address any problem areas. Also, look at your driveway’s surface just after it has rained to find areas where water is pooling as these may be susceptible to water damage. These areas will need leveling out so that water can drain properly to prevent cracking and crumbling over time.
Clean the Concrete
Clean concrete regularly, using simply water and soap to get rid of dirt and grime build up and also to remove rust and other stains. Remove any traces of fertilizer on the concrete and pull out any weeds that have popped up in cracks or along your driveway’s border. If there are green algae or mold and mildew on the concrete surface, it can make the driveway slippery and dangerous to walk on. Moss can damage the surface of the concrete and make cracking and crumbling worse, while lichen causes permanent pitting on the surface of some driveways. If you see any weed growths on your concrete driveway, apply a gentle, scrub-free product to safely eliminate the problem without damaging your concrete driveway’s surface. When you first see a gas, grease, or oil stain, clean it immediately before it sets in. Use a consumer pressure washer to remove them but be careful not to use the pressure washer in cracks.
Repair the problem areas and hairline cracks by applying concrete paint over the crack. For larger cracks, go with a crack repair product from your local hardware store such as vinyl concrete patch, grout, or epoxy concrete patch to prevent any further damage to the concrete surface from freeze-thaw or from weeds. Make sure that the driveway gets 24 hours of drying time for the sealer to set.
Use a Concrete Sealer
The freeze thaw cycles leads to the deterioration of concrete. So it is better to apply acrylic sealers for protection against oil, staining, and water intrusion. Concrete should ideally be sealed before the first winter and resealed periodically after. Depending on the weather and the level of traffic in your driveway, you may have to clean often and reseal when your finish begins to show wear. This is generally every two years. You can even get a professional concrete contractor to recommend how often cleaning should be performed.
Additional Maintenance Tips To Keep In Mind
Use Appropriate Ice Melters
If you live in a cold climate and need deicers to melt snow and ice, it can severely damage your concrete surface. Even fertilizers contain compounds that attack the concrete directly. Find de-icing chemicals such as rock salt or calcium chloride that are safe for concrete driveways and walkways
Keep The Surface Undamaged
Keep heavy construction equipment off your driveway for at least 30 days, especially if your driveway was recently poured in. Be careful not to drop any sharp objects like ice chippers on the concrete surface to avoid chipping and cracks on the driveway. Raise the blades of your snowplow to prevent scratching the surface of the concrete. And preferably use plastic shovels instead of metal ones when removing snow and/or dirt
Concrete is durable and low maintenance, but by being a little more cautious in the care of concrete surfaces, you can save yourself expensive repair work in the long run. Call Davis Concrete at 1-800-910-6928 or email us firstname.lastname@example.org