When the subject of maintaining a concrete driveway is brought up, it usually raises eyebrows. A concrete driveway is usually a long lasting product without maintenance.
You won’t need to do a concrete driveway repair if you maintain your concrete properly.
Clean and Reapply Sealer
Cleaning your concrete driveway on occasion and keeping it sealed are the best measures you can take to keep it looking its best. How often do you clean and reseal will depend on the weather conditions the concrete is exposed to and the amount of vehicle traffic it receives. Generally, you should reseal a concrete driveway every two years or so, or when the finish begins to show wear. Good commercial sealers are available from concrete material suppliers and hardware stores. Or ask your contractor for recommendations. Always apply the sealer according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Clean concrete surface immediately after a spill to minimize any discoloration or damage. This includes fertilizers, leaves, grass clippings, bark molds and tire marks. Clean with a 28-day biodegradable cleaner and rinse thoroughly. This should be done at least every month to keep the surface appearance at its best.
Prevent Dust From Settling
Eliminate dusting (chalking or powder at the surface of a concrete slab). A common problem in box warehouse stores with concrete flooring is dust. To prevent dust on an untreated concrete slab, use a penetrating, compliant hardener densifier to eliminate dusting and extend the life of the floor.
Don’t Use Deicing Chemicals
Using deicers, on your concrete driveway in the winter, can cause surface damage. Primarily, it can cause scaling and spalling by forcing the thawing and refreezing of moisture. Products containing ammonium nitrates and ammonium sulphates are especially harmful because they will actually deteriorate the concrete chemically. Rock salt (sodium chloride) or calcium chloride will do less damage, but they can harm vegetation and corrode metal. Avoid the use of any deicers the first winter after driveway placement, since new concrete is more susceptible to the harmful effects of salt. As an alternative, you could use sand for traction.
While a sealer will help to protect concrete from stain absorption, it’s still a good idea to remove oil, gasoline, grease and other spills as soon as possible. If the concrete does discolor, pressure washing and certain cleaning chemicals will remove most stains.
Properly maintaining a concrete driveway can extend the life and beauty of your concrete. The cleaning method does vary slightly depending on the type of concrete you are working with. If you want to increase the longevity of your concrete flooring or driveway, contact a professional who will help you begin your concrete driveway repair today.