One of the best features of a concrete driveway is the lack of regular routine care – it’s a strong, durable surface that can withstand a great deal of punishment. That doesn’t mean that it’s entirely maintenance free, however – proper preventative maintenance can seriously extend the life of your surface and make sure your investment lasts as long as possible. Here are our top tips:
Reapply Sealer As Needed
Keeping your driveway sealed prevents water from entering the surface, which can be a source of cracking and other damage in Ontario’s harsh freeze-thaw cycles. There is no magic number for how often you should reseal your concrete; it will depend on the weather conditions it’s exposed to and the amount of traffic it receives. As a general rule of thumb, resealing it every two years is a good plan.
Remove Stains Immediately
Concrete sealer does help prevent stains from being absorbed, but that doesn’t mean it’s impervious to stains. Don’t let oil, gasoline or grease stains sit on your concrete; it will discolor it and ruin the aesthetic appeal. If it does discolor, pressure washing is often enough to remove the stains, though there are also chemical cleaners you can buy if that doesn’t do the trick.
Avoid Deicing Chemicals
A recent study showed that using deicers containing ammonium nitrates and ammonium sulphates attack your concrete on a chemical level, in addition to the scaling and spalling caused by forcing moisture to thaw and refreeze. Rock salt or calcium chloride is less harmful to your concrete, though they can harm vegetation and metal. In general, try to deice as little as possible, especially in the first year of your concrete’s lifecycle.
A Little Care Goes A Long Way
It may be concrete, but it’s not impervious. Residential driveways aren’t designed to handle, for example, large construction equipment or fully loaded moving trucks. Use your new surface wisely and avoid subjecting it to excessive strains and loads, and your concrete will continue to look good for years to come.