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There are many things that go into the maintenance of a concrete driveway. Most homeowners are aware that, to keep their concrete driveway looking good, they will need to get rid of ice and snow using a shovel or plow in the wintertime. They may also realize they will have to seal coat it every so often. But what else goes into maintaining a concrete driveway? Here is some information about how to maintain your concrete driveway, including tips for cleaning it and protecting it against cracks.
Cleaning Your Concrete Driveway
Your first line of defense against unsightly cracks in your concrete driveway is keeping it clean with regular pressure-washing. If you do not own a pressure washer yourself, see if there are any local pressure-washing companies in your area. You could also rent a pressure washer from a local hardware store for the day to do the job yourself.
Clean Spills Quickly
Make sure to use a scraper or cleaning towel to remove spills and other messes as quickly as possible. Most stains on concrete driveways will cause cracks if they are not dealt with immediately, so it is imperative that you clean up any spills quickly.
Avoid Using Acidic Cleaners
While abrasive cleaners such as those containing hydrochloric acid can be helpful in removing oil stains from your driveway's surface, they should be avoided because their chemical makeup can damage the seal and lead to cracking. Instead of using acidic cleaners, opt for gentle all-purpose cleaners like dish soap and water – this provides an effective cleanse without risking damage to your driveway's protective layer.
Using Deicing Salts Safely
A necessary evil in wintertime, deicing salt can cause unsightly damage to your concrete driveway if it is not used sparingly and carefully. Keep in mind that, since deicing salt is extremely corrosive, it should only be used around vehicles; this means you should never use it on sidewalks or other areas where pedestrians may walk.
Be Gentle With Your Concrete Driveway
Finally, remember to be gentle when moving heavy objects across your concrete driveway. While it may be tempting to use your garage or front stoop as a makeshift loading bay, doing so will put unnecessary stress on the permeable paving and increase its chances of damage and cracking. Always use clean and sturdy wooden boards and dollies when relocating anything that is heavy or bulky.
Applying Sealant to Concrete Driveways
As far as maintaining your concrete driveway goes, one of the most important things you can do is apply sealant every few years. This will prevent cracks from forming in the future; however, despite how beneficial sealing your concrete driveway can be for its appearance and durability, there are some precautions you need to keep in mind when doing so:
- Make sure the surface temperature is between 50-90 degrees Fahrenheit before applying sealant. If the concrete is too cold or hot, it cannot absorb the sealant properly, which can damage its appearance and effectiveness.
- Try to avoid pouring excess sealant on your driveway because this may form puddles that attract dirt and debris after they dry. Once these start to accumulate in your driveway's pores, they will be difficult to remove without damaging the surface.
- Avoid leaving trails of excess sealant while you are spreading it over your concrete driveway; this may cause cracks later on by forming air pockets under the drying sealant that expand over time due to heat exposure.
If you want to maintain a clean and safe concrete driveway, take proper care of it throughout all the seasons. Keeping your driveway clean, using deicing salt sparingly, and regularly applying sealant is essential in maintaining its appearance and durability.
Protecting Against Cracks
Once you've cleaned your driveway, it's time to take measures against cracks by sealing and coating them. This will keep contaminants out and moisture in, both of which can contribute significantly to the development of cracks. If you have a garage, another good idea is to add a seal coat under the door so that when it opens and closes, it will not pick up dirt from your driveway.
Above all else, be patient with your concrete driveway. While it takes some effort to maintain, it is much cheaper than having to install a new one in just a few years' time!
Maintaining Your Concrete Driveway Helps You Save Money
As many homeowners know, an oil stain on your concrete driveway can lead to serious damage if not removed quickly. That is why you should try to use cleaners that are less acidic, such as dish soap and water. These products will help prevent stains from becoming cracks, which can be difficult to repair without professional assistance.
If you do end up with a crack in your driveway, make sure to keep it dry until it can be repaired by a professional. And remember that applying sealant every few years will effectively protect the surface of your driveway against dirt and debris. Keeping your concrete driveway clean throughout all seasons means fewer problems for you to deal with later on!
What To Do If You Notice Cracks or Damage to
Your Concrete Driveway
When it comes to maintaining your concrete driveway, cracks are the worst thing that can happen because they require major repairs; however, there are some common signs you should look for in order to catch them early. If you notice ridges or bumps on your concrete driveway, there may be a crack underneath. This is even more evident when the bump has formed over time and if the weather has been rainy recently.
You can also check for small holes near where water drains off your driveway since these could indicate that water is seeping through both sides of the crack instead of just one side like normal. Cracks in your concrete driveway will need to be permanently repaired by professionals in order to prevent further damage from occurring in the future.
Once you've taken the necessary precautions to keep your concrete driveway in proper condition, such as regularly applying sealant and not pouring excess sealant on it, you can save yourself a lot of time and money by preparing for the future. A good idea is to create a schedule that will allow you to thoroughly clean and apply new sealant every few years so that even if cracks do form, they will be easier than ever to repair before any major damage occurs.