A Homeowner’s Guide for Driveway Maintenance
Apart from being a paved surface for your cars, your driveway is also crucial for your landscaping. It adds style and appeal to your property while providing functional parking space to keep your vehicle safe. While quality concrete is generally resistant to cracks or crumbling, it still needs regular care practices to maintain aesthetics and performance.
Concrete driveways may require less maintenance but remember that it’s pretty expensive to install one too. Therefore, it only makes sense that you take care of your investment right there. To get you started, here are the top maintenance tips that you must follow to make your concrete driveway last longer.
1. Take Precautions Removing Snow
When it comes to snow removal, there are several things you need to be careful of. For one, shoveling too hard and using a standard metal shovel with sharp edges can damage your concrete driveway over time. It can create unsightly marks that can eventually ruin your driveway’s aesthetics and performance.
Instead, use a durable plastic shovel to remove the snow. Besides that, you’d also want to be careful when using chemical de-icing products. When the ice melts and refreezes, your concrete driveway can be susceptible to spalling and scaling, especially if it’s newly laid.
2. Patch The Problems Immediately
Using a concrete patching compound is generally recommended for filling up holes and cracks and preventing more damage. Cosmetic cracks in a concrete driveway don’t always come with underlying structural issues as long as there are no other signs of crumbling or heaving. These simple cracks can usually be fixed with a quality resurfacing product.
However, if you see cracks that are more than ¼ inch in width, you’ll need a sealant. These problems could get worse if water seeps into them. Prevent them from getting bigger by sealing them right away. As for the cracks on your driveway’s edges, you can typically use a structural repair material to fix them.
If you’re not skilled in mixing or applying these kinds of products, we suggest you seek a concrete repair specialist to fix them. They can inspect your driveway and use the right solution for the job. Hire a local one that offers affordable services.
3. Don’t Let Roots Thrive Underneath
Having trees around your driveway may improve the appearance of your property, but it can be the worst thing for that concrete. Most tree roots can make their way through just about anything — even concrete. They can disrupt your concrete driveway’s foundation.
Replace those big trees with tall shrubs and bushes to prevent damage to your driveway. If you want great shade trees on your property, build a barrier to prevent the roots from growing underneath and destroying the entire surface. Or, you can choose to plant them far away from your driveway.
4. Get Rid Of Stains Right Away
Concrete may be durable, but if you’re constantly spilling grease, petrol, or oil over it, it can ruin your driveway. Clean up any stains the moment you notice them. Keep in mind that tough stains can’t be completely removed by a broom or leaf blower.
Using the right chemical dissolvent and a pressure hose is typically effective for getting rid of most concrete stains. You can remove dried paint marks using hydroxide solvents, eliminate grease and oil with alkaline degreasers, and deal with rusty spots using oxalic acid cleaners. You can consider working with a contractor to force the stains out and ensure proper use of the cleaning chemicals.
5. Avoid Too Much Weight
Even concrete driveways can get weak over time. It might be designed to park your cars, but that does not mean it’s indestructible. If you want to maintain its aesthetics and make it last longer, avoid putting too much weight on your driveway. It’s a simple rule of the thumb to only park four-wheel vehicles on your driveway.
If you drive a company’s truck, it’s best not to park it on your driveway for a long period. Leave it in your company’s parking lot instead. Excessive amounts of weight can potentially crush your concrete surface, especially if the ground is wet and soft after snow melts or heavy rain.
Maintaining your concrete driveway properly can save you from expensive problems and a lot more work. If you find these tasks complicated or you’re too busy to keep up with regular upkeep, we highly recommend calling on an expert team to handle it. It may cost an additional upfront expense, but you can save a lot more from replacing a concrete driveway.