Have you decided on taking concrete as a material for your driveway? Or perhaps you are considering it since maintenance is an important factor to consider in choosing the correct driveway material for you. Nonetheless, concrete is in fact, one of the few materials that require less amount of maintenance.
Although it requires less maintenance, that doesn’t mean it is maintenance-free, no material can ever be maintenance-free, especially on pavement parts that are regularly used such as driveways. Some factors to consider before laying out the concrete should be planning for gutters and managing trees and roots.
Properly planned gutters will be able to drain water away and decrease the amount of water that is on the concrete surface. Managing roots properly can prevent them from pushing up the concrete and creating cracks. Here are some quick and easy ways and tips to properly maintain your concrete driveway:
Clean The Concrete
Regularly cleaning your concrete driveway helps a lot. Not only does regular cleaning keeps the driveway look better and proper, but it also helps the concrete last longer. Naturally, the frequency of cleaning will depend on the weather and season, as well as how often it is used. It is also best to remove any stains that appear immediately.
Although a sealer will help to protect concrete from stain absorption, it is still recommended to remove any oil, gasoline, grease, and other spills as quickly as possible. These stains may discolor the concrete, ruining the image and beauty of the concrete. Pressure washing and certain cleaning chemicals can help in the case that it does discolor.
Treat The Problem Areas Of Concrete
Although with proper jointing, concrete is less likely to crack, there is still the possibility of unplanned cracks appearing, if so, it is best treated and patched up immediately upon notice so that other elements such as water or the winter weather wouldn’t make things worse. A simple concrete patching compound should be enough to do the job. You may look for products in concrete material suppliers and hardware stores, or just ask your contractor which is best to use.
It is best to first sweep or clean off the concrete driveway before applying anything. After removing any debris or dirt that was on the concrete, it is time to apply the patching material and give it some time to dry. It is also best to apply a coat of concrete sealant for better results. Joints are “planned” cracks that lessen the possibility of cracks from appearing, but they can be problematic if they’re not sealed.
Avoid Using De-icing Chemicals And Salt
Cement salt and chemical de-icers can usually penetrate different surfaces, in the case of concrete driveways, using it may result in cracks. Although salt and de-icers are convenient in the winter, it does cause significant damage, instead, sand, coffee grounds, alfalfa meal, or kitty litter can be used as alternatives to make the concrete surfaces less slippery.
Be sure to always be careful with your concrete driveway. Although it is perfectly durable, residential concrete isn’t typically used to support heavy vehicles or equipment. You may also end up scratching or scraping the surface if you’re not careful while shoveling.