There are many advantages of using concrete for your driveway and patio. It absorbs less heat than other alternatives which makes it cool during summer and stamped concrete can be textured to look like other building materials like stone, slate, and even wood. That’s not all, concrete is eco-friendly because it costs less energy to produce while also having the ability to be reused. Try these 10 tricks to keep your concrete looking good as new.
1. CLEAN YOUR CONCRETE DRIVEWAY
Even though concrete does not show stains as much as other construction materials. There will always be the occasional tire scratches and oil spills from leaks. The trick to getting rid of spills is to clean them immediately it happens. Some sealants will protect it from absorbing stain and discoloring but you still have to wipe it off to protect your driveway. Additionally, don’t wait for spills before you clean, add pressure washing your driveway about twice a year to your schedule.
2. SEAL YOUR CONCRETE DRIVEWAY
When it comes to concrete protection, sealing is at the top of the list. When you seal, you protect it from environmental degradation. Clean the driveway because you don’t want to seal it with debris or stains. When it is completely dry, You can start sealing. While some sealers will protect against stains, others just create a glossy finish. So pick the right products from your concrete supply retailers, seal, and allow it to dry. Don’t forget to reseal every 2 years or when you notice the sheen is disappearing.
3. DON’T USE HARSH DEICING CHEMICALS
Deicing chemicals are used to remove ice from the concrete surface during winter. These chemicals seem like a lifesaver but can actually damage your concrete driveway from within. Avoid using deicers containing ammonium sulfate or ammonium nitrate altogether. Deicers like salt which only contains sodium chloride can be used once in a while but it is still pretty harmful. However, only use salts a year after your concrete driveway or patio is installed because new concrete is delicate and should not be subjected to its effect. Sand is a great substitute for deicers, it gets the job done and has no effect.
4. KEEP THE PLANTS AT BAY
The last thing you want is for your concrete to be pushed or cracked by roots. In this case, it will have to be replaced not repaired. You can manage your plants by getting rid of trees with extensive roots and trimming the visible roots. This will save costs in the future.
5. INVEST IN OVERHEAD COVERAGE
Even though this isn’t usually done for driveways, you can install an overhead cover for your patio. When the concrete has little exposure to rain and snow, it will last longer. You’re not just extending the lifespan of the concrete with a patio cover, you can also make it look a lot better.
6. USE RUGS
Concrete has a beautiful glossy look when sealed well but chairs and tables can leave scratches and wear the sealant faster, especially on your patio. A rug will help prevent scratches and also protect the concrete from elements. It also looks great on patios.
8. POLISH, POLISH, POLISH
Yes, you have sealed your concrete and it has a nice shine. However, polishing every summer will give a brighter sheen and you can cover up marks from tires on your driveway and foot traffic on your patio. It’s not a necessity but it will definitely give an additional layer of protection.
9. DON’T PUT TOO MUCH WEIGHT ON YOUR DRIVEWAY
Concrete has a high load-bearing capacity but this should not be over-exploited. Driveways for residential buildings are constructed with a few everyday cars and people in mind. It is not designed for garbage or delivery trucks and other heavy-duty machinery. These driveways can fall apart if the load-bearing capacity is exceeded. So keep these vehicles off your driveway.
10. USE THE RIGHT CHEMICALS
As you should know by now, using the wrong sealants or deicers can ruin your concrete in the long run. Another chemical you should be careful when choosing is the type of cleaner you use. Don’t just pick any product, use concrete cleaners specifically. You should also read the instructions thoroughly before using. If you want a long-lasting patio or driveway, you shouldn’t take risks with products.
There you have it, 10 maintenance tips for your concrete driveways and patios. Ultimately, you have to put in some effort to follow all of these tips so that you can protect your investment and keep your property looking good for decades.
Contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation on your sealing concrete needs.