Our driveways can be touted as the most underappreciated segments of our hardscaping. Although we use the driveways every day as a haven for our cars from the busy neighborhood streets, we hardly care enough for the same. But did you know that a well-maintained driveway holds the potential of either heightening or curbing the overall appeal of your house!
Our driveways are usually made of concrete which is extremely vulnerable to environmental weathering and other forms of damage such as oil spills. This is why you need to perform occasional maintenance for adding to the longevity of your driveway and making it look tip-top round the clock.
Take Care Of Cracks
Cracks are the first signs of damage that appear on a concrete driveway. They are caused by weathering which weakens the concrete structure. Another pertinent cause of the driveway cracks is water which seeps into the existing cracks and freezes during winter to expand and deteriorate the overall condition. Both these are completely unavoidable factors making concrete maintenance a must.
Timely action can prevent the cracks from multiplying and ruining your driveway. The right time to take care of the cracks is when they attain a width of around one eight of an inch. Starting early makes it easier to undertake concrete maintenance. You can choose between concrete or asphalt crack tape for filling in the growing fissure.
Clean & Reseal
To keep your concrete driveway looking new, you need to keep it clean and sealed. However, your propensity of doing the same will be determined by the weather conditions and the vehicle traffic the concrete driveway receives. As a rule of thumb, you need to reseal the driveway every two years or once it starts showing signs of wear and tear.
Immediately Remove Stains
Sealers are excellent in protecting concrete from absorbing the stain. However, you need to make it a point to remove gasoline, oil, grease, and similar spills instantaneously. Various cleaning chemicals and pressure washing techniques can come to your aid if the concrete driveway gets discolored.
Most of us undertake DIY auto-maintenance on the driveway which increases chances of spillage. Concrete driveways in a lighter shade are more vulnerable to the problem of spillage. But you can remove most problematic stains by performing slight concrete maintenance. Just make sure to opt for a nontoxic cleaner and get hold of a water hose for wiping off the residue once you are finished.
Stay Away From Deicing Chemicals
Deicers are infamous for scaling and spalling the concrete driveway during winter months as it enforces the thawing and refreezing procedure of moisture. You need to be especially wary of products containing ammonium sulfates and ammonium nitrates as they chemically react with concrete causing damage.
Calcium chloride and sodium chloride are better alternatives although they might corrode metal and harm vegetation. It is best to refrain from using deicers in the winter following your driveway placement for the first time as new concrete stands at higher risk of damage caused by salt.
Treat With Care
A residential driveway is not engineered for heavy vehicles and large construction equipment. Parking the same in your concrete driveway can lead to cracks and fissures. You also need to be very careful of metal blades while shoveling or plowing your driveway as they tend to scratch the surface.
Being a little proactive can go a long way in helping homeowners prevent heavy repair expenses in the long run. While concrete is a relatively low maintenance choice of driveway paving material, you can preserve its appearance and life by following the tips shared above. Thanks to pavemade.com for consulting on this post.