How To Maintain A Concrete Driveway
Concrete provides a high degree of durability and strength to your driveway. However, just like asphalt and other paving materials, exposure can cause concrete to crack and break over time. In order to keep your concrete driveway looking good and in the best possible shape, there are a number of things you need to do.
Concrete driveways should be cleaned regularly to prevent stains from setting into the material. Furthermore, organic material like leaves and twigs can hold onto water and keep it on your driveway, which can cause structural damage if it manages to penetrate into the concrete and freeze.
Pressure washing is usually more than enough to remove dirt and debris that may stain your driveway and can also be used to remove debris. Sweeping is also a good alternative, as it can remove debris without scratching the surface of your driveway.
For set stains, soap and water can be used with a stiff bristled brush to remove them. If soap and water is ineffective, chemical concrete cleaners are a viable alternative.
You should reseal your driveway regularly to ensure that it remains protected from water and weather exposure. The exact amount of time between sealcoats will depend on the weather that your driveway is exposed to, as well as general wear and tear associated with usage, so contacting a contractor is probably a good idea. However, as a general rule of thumb, you should look into sealing your concrete driveway every three years.
Avoiding Potential Problems
Avoid doing vehicle work on your driveway, as the chemicals and liquids, such as coolant, oil, and gasoline, from your car can cause stains and discoloration on the surface of concrete. These spills can be hard to catch if they happen underneath your vehicle, and can thus have enough time to become set into the surface of your driveway, at which point they become much harder to clean away.
Furthermore, you should avoid using sharp objects on your driveway, as concrete's surface can become nicked and disfigured. This means avoiding using metal rakes and snow shovels and using plastic tools instead.
Lastly, you should avoid using salt and chemicals designed to melt the ice on your driveway. Salt and chemicals can wear away your driveway's sealant, allowing the concrete to become damaged by water and temperature changes more easily. Sand can be used instead and won't damage the concrete of your driveway.
For more advice or help with maintenance and repairs, contact a local paving company like New England Paving.