Concrete driveways are becoming more popular again, and there are plenty of reasons why. With an estimated lifespan of 10-15 years longer than asphalt, often lasting around roughly 20+ years, concrete is a worthy investment if you are willing to maintain it properly. If you’re considering making the investment or you already have concrete and want to make it last for decades, here is some suggestions:
Water exposure of any kind can result in pore development in your concrete. Water alone can dissolve calcium hydroxide in concrete, and that process can be made more severe if there is any carbon dioxide in the water. Once your concrete loses strength and harmful substances can get inside, there can be damage to the concrete’s internal structure. This is why sealing your driveway is a major key step in maintaining your concrete.
FILL ANY CRACKS
Preventing cracks is important, and can be done by hiring an experienced contractor who will properly install and cure your driveway. If you’re moving into a home that already has a concrete driveway and cracks exist, you will want to fill those cracks as soon as possible with a resurfacing material for fine surface cracks and sealant for cracks that are wider.
ADDRESS SPILLS ASAP
While preventing spills entirely is impossible, it is imperative that you clean up spills as soon as they happen. Car fluids, like oil, can both stain and damage your concrete . Rinse any spills when they happen and for cases with stubborn oil, you might need to use a solvent.
DON’T USE DE-ICER
If you live somewhere that gets snow, you may be tempted to use chemical de-icers or salt on your driveway. While it may seem easier, these products can seep into your driveway and can lead to deep cracks. Opt to use sand or kitty litter to create traction on your driveway on icy days.
CREATE A RUNOFF AREA
Making sure water and melted snow has a place to runoff will help prevent water seeping into your concrete.
Don’t wait for your concrete driveway to show signs of damage before taking care of it. Putting in the time to maintain your driveway now will save your money in the long run.