One of the top reasons that people choose a concrete driveway is due to their durability and the minimal maintenance and care that they require. However, even concrete driveways require some maintenance if you want it to stay in good condition for as long as possible. Here we’ve presented some tips for increasing the life of your concrete driveway and keeping it as beautiful as possible in the meantime.
Cleaning and sealing
Periodically cleaning and sealing your concrete drive is one of the best steps you can take to keeping your driveway looking its best. How often you’ll need to complete the sealing process depends on the amount of environmental pollutants and inclement weather that your driveway is exposed to, as well as the amount of traffic it receives. The average driveway should be resealed approximately every two years. An easy rule of thumb is to reseal as soon as the finish begins to look worn.
High-quality commercial sealers can be purchased from concrete suppliers and other hardware stores. If you’re having a new driveway installed, ask your contractor for recommendations. Always follow the instructions on the sealer.
Don’t let stains sit
The sealing process will help protect your concrete driveway from stains, but you’ll still want to clean up any oil, petrol or grease spills as soon as you’re able. If the concrete is already discoloured, you may need to use a pressure washer or other cleaning chemicals to fully get rid of the stain.
Avoid deicing chemicals
Chemical deicers can actually damage your concrete driveway because they force moisture to thaw, leading to scaling and spalling. You should especially avoid any products containing ammonium sulphates and nitrates. These are particularly harmful because they chemically break down the concrete. Deicers such as rock salt (sodium chloride) or calcium chloride are not as damaging, although they can harm vegetation and corrode metal, so you won’t want to take the risk of these products getting on your car.
If you do use a deicer, avoid doing so in the first winter after your driveway is laid down as new concrete is especially vulnerable to damage. Consider using sand instead to increase traction.
Don’t overload your driveway
Concrete is one of the longest-lasting driveway materials, but the average driveway isn’t constructed to hold very large or heavy vehicles, such as lorry or construction equipment.
Take care when shoveling your driveway as well, and avoid the use of any metal blades that might damage or scratch your concrete driveway’s surface.