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.
If you’re looking for a reliable driveway contractor in the Greater Toronto Area, we humbly suggest that you won’t find anyone better than Epic Paving and Contracting. That being said, you don’t have to just take our word for it – you should do your due diligence, first. We believe that you’ll find, when all is said and done, that we’re the best option in the area.
If you don’t live in the GTA – or just want to make sure you know what you’re getting into – here are our top tips for hiring a driveway contractor.
Credentials, Credentials, Credentials
Any company you trust to do major work on your property should be fully licensed, bonded and insured. Ask to see their health and safety credentials, as well; these independent credentialing organizations protect both the consumer and the contractor from danger or negligence.
Check out the company in question on sites like HomeStars, Houzz and the BBB to see what other clients are saying about them. You ideally want a long trail of satisfied customers – a company’s past work is the best indicator of their future performance.
A good driveway contractor will have addresses of driveways they’ve worked on in your immediate area. Go check them out for yourself! It’s worth the time and effort to drive by and check out the handiwork and final products. Driveways are fairly easy to check out without having to enter private property, so take advantage of that fact!
Working with a fast-setting material like asphalt requires precision work to be done both quickly and efficiently. A large, experienced crew is vital to making sure the job is done properly and not just quickly. You want your contractor’s crew to have years of experience paving driveways and working with asphalt or concrete – experience can make all the difference between a driveway that lasts 10 years and one that lasts 30.
After a while, even the best-laid concrete driveways will begin to show their age. From discolorations to cracks, you’ll eventually lose the luster and yard appeal a brand new driveway can give you. But what should you do with an old concrete driveway? There are several options to choose from, depending on your specific needs and situation.
Your driveway may simply need to be resurfaced. If it’s experiencing cracking, scaling or spalling – but not severe damage to the subbase – resurfacing can help restore your concrete to a nearly new state. Resurfacing doesn’t just cover up the existing flaws in your concrete; it can help you create a brand new look with a variety of patterns and colors of stamped concrete.
If your underlying concrete is still structurally sound, concrete resurfacing can be a way to give it a facelift, restoring it to its original beauty and repairing the superficial damage that use and weather can cause. Epic Paving and Contracting offers professional repair and resurfacing for cracks in concrete. We seal cracks, repair patches, and much more. You can contact us for a consultation, and we can examine your driveway and discern whether resurfacing is right for you.
Not all concrete damage can be fixed with a resurfacing. If you have widespread, deep cracks where settlement has occurred, or sunken concrete, any repair work will be temporary – and probably too temporary to really justify the time and expense. In these cases, replacement makes much more sense. This involves removing the concrete and sub grade entirely and starting from scratch.
From there, of course, you have options – you could replace it with a new concrete driveway, or opt for a different material such as asphalt. If you’re planning on replacing a concrete driveway with asphalt, it’s best to remove the entire concrete driveway anyway due to the differing requirements in the subbase. Either way, you don’t want to do a quick patch job that won’t hold up – if the damage becomes too severe, it’s time to replace with something long-lasting and well-designed. Epic Paving can help ensure your new driveway will stand the test of time.
It’s time to install a new asphalt driveway! Asphalt really is one of the best choices for a driveway; it’s durable, affordable and easy to repair. But how do you go about making sure your new driveway will be of the highest quality? Here are some key tips from the experts at Epic Paving:
Vet Your Contractor
While we’re confident you’ll get the best quote here at Epic Paving, it’s still good to talk to a number of contractors and get quotes. Do your research – check them out on sites like HomeStars to make sure that they have a large number of positive reviews and feedback. Ideally, you should be able to see examples of their previous work, so you know that they’ll do a great job for you.
Pick Your Materials
Asphalt comes in a variety of materials, perfect for different uses. Porous asphalt helps reduce runoff by increasing drainage. Perpetual pavement is better for heavy-use areas thanks to its durability. Hot mix asphalt offers the finest finished appearances. The kind of asphalt you choose will depend on what you want to get out of your project; your contractor can explain the differences and help you make the right selection.
A trusted contractor, like the ones at Epic Paving, won’t cut corners during the installation phase. This includes key details like ensuring a quality water run-off plan, preparing the foundation and subbase, and proper surface preparation. The higher the quality of the installation, the longer your asphalt driveway will last.
Once your asphalt is in place, regular preventative maintenance will keep it functioning for a long time. Fixing problems such as pot-holes and cracks when they’re still small and manageable will save you a ton of money in the long run. By keeping on top of your preventative maintenance, your driveway will be a beautiful addition to your property for years to come!