How To Properly Maintain Your Concrete Driveway

cracked driveway

Quite likely one of the reasons you invested in having a concrete driveway installed at your home was your expectation that a concrete driveway would need very little maintenance and upkeep. While in general that’s true, there is still a certain amount of maintenance necessary with a concrete driveway. Here are some tips on how to maintain your concrete driveway.

Clean your driveway regularly

  • Actually how often you need to clean your driveway will depend on how much traffic it gets as well as the amount of pollutants in the air. You can hire a professional concrete cleaning company to power wash your drive, but for most of us, simply power washing your drive with a home pressure washer every couple of months will be enough to keep it clean.

Reseal when necessary

  • Concrete sealers help preserve and protect the surface of your driveway by preventing water from getting into the porous surface and helping to delay the negative effects of weathering. However, traffic and time will eventually wear out even the best sealer so you will need to reseal the surface regularly to maintain that protection. A good rule of thumb is to reseal every two to three years, but you may need to reseal more often if your driveway gets a lot of use.

Keep spills off the surface

  • Avoid doing things like changing the oil in your vehicle on your driveway since spilled oil can create an ugly stain. If you do see any spills or drips, get most of it off the surface with an absorbent product such as kitty litter, sawdust or cornmeal. After you soak up most of the spill, get rid of any residual marks by scrubbing with soap and water or one of a number of commercial concrete cleaners available from home or hardware stores.

Avoid salt and deicing chemicals

  • Chemical deicers and salt are very hard on grass and gardens growing beside your driveway but perhaps worse, will eat into the surface of your concrete and start deteriorating it. Spreading sand on icy patches to provide traction during the winter is a better option and you can simply sweep it up in the spring.

Keep sharp objects off your driveway

  • Shovels with metal edges or metal ice chippers will damage the surface of your drive, so it’s best to not use them. Plastic snow shovels won’t nick the surface and are a better choice for clearing snow from your driveway. Also, if  you have a snow blower, be sure to raise the blades high enough to avoid scraping your driveway surface.

Repair any small cracks when you first notice them

  • Small cracks can occur due to natural settling or shifting of the  ground. If they’re left unrepaired, annual freezing and melting cycles will enlarge these cracks making them big enough for sections to begin to heave which poses a tripping hazard, in just a few years, you may need to resurface your entire driveway. Concrete patching  products to repair small cracks are available at most home stores.