One of the top reasons that homeowners choose a decorative concrete driveway is because they are relatively low maintenance and require very little routine care over the lifetime of the driveway. But even with those incredible ‘credentials’ all concrete surfaces and driveway paving material will require at least some minimal up-keep to preserve its beauty and integrity over the course of its lifetime. Plus, with just a little routine maintenance a homeowner can protect their investment.
Driveway Sealer Maintenance
So what type of ‘routine maintenance’ are we talking about here? The two best things you can do for your driveway are to clean your concrete driveway with a pressure washer and reapply sealer. These two simple maintenance tasks can really extend the life and beauty of your driveway like no other. The frequency of cleaning and sealing your driveway will depend on a few factors like weather conditions where you live (frequent rains, hot, dry, etc.) as well as the amount of traffic the driveway is exposed to on a regular basis but in general terms these should be performed about every two years. It is important to use a high-quality commercial driveway sealant on your driveway for ultimate protection against the elements. Always apply driveway sealer according to the manufacturer’s instructions or better yet hire a local concrete contractor business to perform the cleaning and sealing for you!
A high-quality commercial sealer’s main job is to prevent stains from seeping into the concrete surface, however it is still a good idea to immediately remove spills like gasoline, oil and grease as soon as they happen to avoid unsightly stains on your driveway. In the event the stain stays on the surface for a long period of time and some discoloration occurs homeowners can try pressure washing or applying certain cleaning agents specifically designed to remove most concrete stains.
All About Deicing Chemicals
It is so tempting to use deicers on your driveway after a big snow storm! I know – I get it! You’re late to work or just don’t feel like shoveling and you just need something to quickly remove the snow and ice! But my best advice is to NOT use deicers as they can can cause severe concrete driveway damage in the form of scaling and spalling which is caused by forcing thawing and refreezing of moisture. Deicing products that contain ammonium nitrates and ammonium sulphates are especially destructive and harmful to concrete. Better options for deicers include rock salt and calcium chloride, however they both can cause damage to plants, trees and grass as well as corrode metal. Homeowners should also avoid using any type of deicer during the first winter after a driveway installation since new concrete is more susceptible during that time. A safer alternative to deicers is using sand to gain traction over the snow or ice.
Proper Concrete Care
Concrete is by far one of the most durable and thus widely used materials for driveways however a typical residential driveway is not engineered to support heavy machinery or vehicles on a regular basis. If you will be parking heavier vehicles like a moving van or semi-truck on your property you should consider installing a commercial grade driveway to support the additional weight. Some other helpful care and maintenance tips for your driveway include using care when using a snow plow or shoveling snow in the winter in order to avoid metal scratches or damages to the surface of your concrete driveway.