Dos and Don’ts of Protecting Your Driveway
Your driveway is made of sturdy concrete, but even concrete is not invulnerable. And think of all the stress placed on your driveway every day. Think of the amount of cars that move across it each day, the elements that it’s exposed to, or any wry chemical lawn treatments that might make it to the side of the driveway. If you want your driveway to stay smooth and strong for as long as you live in the house, you can’t just neglect it. Here are some of our tips for what to do…and what not to do…when it comes to protecting your driveway.
DO Use Concrete Coating
Do you have a concrete driveway? One way to ensure that it lasts as long as possible is to cover it in concrete coating. Concrete is still porous, but the right coating will help to keep water and other elements out, as well as strengthen it against cracks or crumbling. Our polyurea concrete coating cures in just 24 hours and lasts. You can walk on it in a matter of a few hours and drive over it after just one day.
DON’T Use Sodium Chloride Rock Salt
Rock salt is not something Amarillo residents have to worry about most of the time, but this year has proven that even Texans should be prepared for winter weather. However, rock salt made of sodium chloride can have a negative impact on your concrete surfaces, wearing them down and causing them to crumble and spall. Instead, consider using magnesium chloride or smaller amounts of calcium chloride.
DO Keep It Sealed Every Few Years
Again, concrete — while strong — is porous, and water can damage it over time. Chemical reactions can also wear down your concrete. We’ve talked about the importance of concrete coating to protect your concrete, but even concrete coating can be worn down after some time exposed to the elements. If you’re beginning to notice your concrete coating is starting to wear off, seal your driveway again. It’s much easier to reseal concrete than it is to have to replace the surface altogether.
DON’T Use a Metal Shovel or Rake
Whether you’re removing snow from an unexpected snowstorm or raking leaves and debris away from your driveway, a metal shovel can leave scratches and scrapes on your concrete driveway, and it can be even worse on asphalt driveways. Set that metal shovel or rake aside and instead use a plastic shovel.
DO Clear Debris From Your Driveway
You mow your lawn, clear out your roof gutters, and sweep or mop the floors inside your home. But don’t forget to clean your driveway, as well as your carport or garage. Clearing away twigs, damp leaves, or any other debris and trash will make driveway maintenance that much easier for you, and it will help to keep your driveway healthy. It will also make driving over it a little easier.
DON’T Neglect Stains
Oil, grease, antifreeze, and more can both cause nasty stains on your concrete driveway, and this material can seep into the concrete, weakening it and wearing it down. That’s why you want to take care of stains on your concrete as soon as possible. Try to clean these stains with hot, soapy water. If that fails, you can also use a degreaser to wear the stains away.
DO Maintain the Concrete Apron
Your concrete apron is a slab that generally sits at the border of your carport or garage, helping to keep water from seeping into the home’s foundation. This means your concrete apron takes in quite a bit of water and might become prone to cracking. Make sure to maintain and reseal your concrete apron as well as the rest of your driveway.
DON’T Drive Recklessly
It might be your driveway, but if you drive around recklessly, the pavement can suffer. This might include driving over the concrete before it’s fully cured or driving too close to the edges of the driveway, which are more vulnerable to cracking and crumbling. Treat your driveway with the same respect that you treat the road, if not more so. Take a look at the concrete surface to ensure that your driving isn’t causing undue strain on your driveway.
DO Fill Any Cracks
Sometimes even when you take care, your driveway can still develop cracks over the years. These can be easy to ignore. After all, it’s not as though you spend much time on the driveway. But you should fix these cracks immediately so that they don’t expand. An excellent concrete crack repair, like our epoxy crack repair, will not only fix the cracks themselves but reinforce your driveway, making it even stronger than before.
DON’T Forget to Repair Crumbling or Spalling
Concrete can take on some crumbling over time, especially along the edges. Often, this crumbling or “spalling” (concrete flaking) is mostly on the surface and does not go very deep. If this is the case, it can be repaired rather than fully replaced. Smooth it over with concrete repair and then reseal it to protect it for the future. Only if the concrete crumbling goes especially deep should you replace it due to crumbling.
These tips will help you to keep from making common driveway maintenance mistakes so that you can protect your driveway for longer. Need help repairing or even replacing your driveway? Childers Brothers, Inc. can help. Contact us today for more information or to get started with a free estimate.