While many people overlook their driveways, this essential element often shapes your guests’ first impression of your house. This important element withstands different types of weather, the weight of vehicles, and the occasional oil spill, but it also improves the look of your outdoor space. Your driveway deserves more than just a passing glance during your commute, so here are some tips to keep it in top-notch condition throughout the year.
Apply a Quality Sealer
With proper maintenance and application, a water or solvent-based concrete sealer can extend your driveway’s lifespan and improve its overall appearance. This protects it from harsh weather or any kind of moisture like when you’re washing your car. Considering that concrete is relatively porous, water can easily get inside it. It can weaken the connections holding the material particles together and cause it to crack. An outdoor concrete sealer protects your driveway’s surface and fills any cracks and crevices. Once it’s fully dry, this product protects it from moisture and deterioration for a long time.
Apart from its practical benefits, this product can also improve the look of your driveway and outdoor space. You can find concrete sealers with different levels of glossiness. They give your driveway a shiny and revitalizing finish that makes it look brand-new. There are also tinted sealers that can slightly change the colour of the surface and decorative flakes which improve traction and add texture.
Can You Put a Concrete Sealer on Old Concrete?
It’s just as important to know when to seal your driveway’s surface as it is to select the right product. Before applying any type of product to freshly laid concrete, let it cure for around one month. You can seal your old concrete whenever you want, just make sure that there are no remnants of previous sealing materials. When resealing the surface, keep an eye out for wear, flaking, or discolouration. You should probably reseal if you notice any damage on the surface.
To see if your previous concrete surface sealer is still present, apply a little water to a small area. If the surface quickly absorbs the water, then you should reseal. When doing these types of tests, stick to areas that get the least amount of traffic, sunshine, and wear and tear. They’re most likely to contain traces of old products, and if they do, the new sealer may not work properly.
Another way you can improve your driveway’s appearance and extend its lifespan is by cleaning it regularly. This removes any dirt and debris that can damage the surface if you leave them for an extended period. It also removes mould, which can lead to discolouration. So, grab your trusty pressure washer and take 30 minutes of your day to make sure your driveway looks clean and neat. And you don’t need to go through the cleaning hassle every week. Doing it 1-2 times a year is just enough to keep your driveway in top condition. If you don’t have the tools needed for pressure washing, you can hire Jet Wash Exterior Cleaning of Madison, WI, to have the job done professionally.
Some signs that the surface needs cleaning include discolouration or fading, dirt buildup, oil stains, growth of mould, etc. If you live in a location that gets a lot of rain or snowfall, you should clean your driveway more frequently. These harsh weather conditions can lead to the buildup of dirt and debris more quickly. You should also clean more frequently if you get a lot of guests or if you keep pets around the house, which can leave dirt behind.
Repair Cracks Right Away
Cracks can happen due to age, tree root movement, summertime heat expansion, and wintertime icy weather. Driveways often last for several decades, so this kind of wear and tear is normal. But if you want to keep yours in good shape, you should fix these cracks immediately, before they escalate into more serious damage. What starts as a hairline whisper can turn into a loud, disruptive chatter in no time.
Similarly, when you leave a small crack unchecked for a longer period, it gets bigger and uglier. When cold weather comes along, water turns into ice and swells in the cracks, which leads to bigger problems.
For small holes that are less than a centimetre wide, use a liquid filler which you can find in any hardware store. For larger holes, consider a premixed concrete filler for cracks. Apply it with the help of a trowel and smooth out the surface with a sponge.
Weeds might seem harmless at first, but they can quickly ruin your driveway if left unchecked. They poke through every crack and crevice, claiming their territory like they own the place. Make sure to regularly inspect your driveway, and when you spot those tiny green intruders, tackle them head-on.
Mulch provides a protective layer that keeps weeds at bay. Spread it around the troublesome area, and it will keep them in check. When it comes to weed killers, choose wisely. Opt for products that target the weeds and don’t cause damage to your driveway.
After heavy rainfall, the water can cause serious damage to your concrete surfaces if you don’t have a proper drainage system. It seeps into every crevice and corner, and when the temperature drops, it’s a recipe for disaster. Proper drainage redirects water away from your driveway. It shows the water the exit instead of allowing it to set up camp and wreak havoc. It ensures that water flows away, preventing it from turning your driveway into a winter obstacle course. It’s a preventive measure that safeguards against the formation of potholes and extends the life of your pavement.
Avoid Using Metal Snowshovels
Finally, the type of shovels you use to ward off the stubborn ice and snow in the winter months is also important. When removing the icy obstacle, make sure you’re not harming your concrete in the process. While metal shovels might seem like a suitable tool in the beginning, they can scratch your innocent driveway. This can create tiny gaps where water can penetrate and cause more serious damage in the future.
Over time, these chips turn into larger fractures and other damage that shortens the lifespan of your driveway. Rubber shovels are great substitutes for metal ones as they’re almost as strong and efficient at clearing snow, but they won’t damage your concrete surface.