Concrete Contractors Colorado Springs are durable but like any surface. They need regular maintenance to keep them looking and functioning at their best. Here are some tips to help.
Avoid using salt or other deicing chemicals on your concrete driveway, as these can cause damage to the surface. Try using natural traction enhancers instead. Also, if you have renovation projects on your property that require heavy equipment or trucks, try to find another place to park them than your driveway.
Cleaning is one of the most important steps in concrete maintenance. It removes stains and helps keep the surface in good condition.
Keeping your concrete driveway clean prevents mildew growth and other contaminants that can weaken the concrete and cause it to crack or etch. Keeping your driveway clean can also help with safety because it removes potential slip and fall hazards caused by dirt, mosses, weeds, algae, or other organic matter that can cause the surface to become slippery.
Wash your driveway at least once yearly using a pressure cleaner and a concrete driveway cleaner product. Always remember to use a lower-pressure setting when washing new concrete, as high-pressure can strip the sealant and leave it vulnerable. It’s best to avoid power washing the concrete during rainy weather as the constant force on the surface can damage it.
When cleaning your concrete, using a non-toxic, biodegradable cleaner is a good idea. Many of these products can be found at your local Bunnings or hardware box store and are safer than traditional chemicals. They’re designed to be mixed with water to create a cleaner, secure solution for kids, pets, and plants.
Removing stains from your concrete driveway is easier than you might think. You can use non-clumping kitty litter to absorb the liquid for fresh spills and stains. Try scrubbing the area with a grease-cutting dishwashing detergent and water if it’s an older stain.
If your concrete driveway has oil or radiator fluid stains, you must do more than clean the surface. These stains can penetrate the surface of concrete and soften the asphalt underneath. To protect your driveway and prevent this, try rerouting the drainage from your gutter downspouts away from the driveway, minimizing watering of lawns adjacent to the concrete, and using a non-toxic oil absorbent.
You can also try a commercial concrete paint stripper or muriatic acid powder, although you’ll want to take precautions as these chemicals can burn or damage your eyes, skin, and lungs. If you’re comfortable using these products, apply them to the stains, scrub vigorously, and rinse thoroughly before the chemical can dry.
If a concrete driveway cracks, it’s important to repair the crack promptly to prevent further damage and to protect the car. Cracks can be repaired using a commercially available crack filler or a concrete resurfacing compound. Regardless of the chosen method, cleaning the crack thoroughly before starting is critical. Use a wire brush to clean the surface of the crack and remove any loose debris, including gravel or soil, that may have fallen into the crack. Then, wet the crack with a water hose to soften it for easier repair.
Hairline cracks are fine lines up to 1/8″ wide that appear right on the surface of your concrete. They are mainly cosmetic but can create the appearance that your concrete is crumbling or deteriorating. You can repair this damage with an elastomeric concrete filler that will keep water out of the crack.
A minor crack is wider than a hairline crack but does not extend through the surface. You can usually tell this by the presence of jagged areas where unstable pieces break off. A concrete patch made of Portland cement, sand, and polymer bonding agents can repair a minor crack. This great DIY project can be completed for about $30 in materials.
A wide crack along the edge of a driveway, often accompanied by crumbling, is more serious than a simple crack and requires a stronger material to repair. This type of crack is typically caused by heavy vehicles putting pressure on the weak outer edges of your concrete, causing it to deform and crumble. A structural repair like Quikrete Polymer Modified Structural Repair can be sculpted and shaped to reform the edge of your concrete, giving it a more finished look. This product can also be used for small cracks and crevices if mixed with a waterproof sealant, such as Quikrete Waterproofing Membrane. Any cracks and damaged areas must be properly inspected and repaired before sealing your concrete driveway. That will help ensure the newly applied material lasts as long as possible.
Concrete driveways require regular re-sealing to protect them from harsh weather conditions, oil spills, and other environmental factors that cause damage. A good quality concrete sealer helps to protect the surface and extend its lifespan. Whether you hire a professional or do it yourself, re-sealing your concrete is an important maintenance task that should be done at least once every five to seven years.
Before applying any concrete sealer:
- Ensure the surface is completely clean and free of dirt, oil, grease, dust, moss, or other harmful substances.
- Use a pressure washer or scrub brush to remove debris and thoroughly clean the surface.
- Once the concrete is clean, let it dry for a few days before applying the sealant.
The best type of sealant to use on a concrete driveway is a penetrating one. These sealers penetrate deep into the concrete to form a strong bond that lasts for years.
Once you have chosen the right sealer for your concrete driveway, follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to ensure you get the proper coverage. Generally, you must apply two thin coats of the sealer to achieve optimal results. If you use a sprayer to apply the sealant, ensure it is only used for concrete and not lawn or pesticide applications.
It’s also a good idea to install contraction joints in your concrete driveway, isolating cracking from the surrounding areas. These are more expensive than concrete expansion joints, but they are much better at protecting the overall structure of your driveway.
It’s worth noting that concrete is much less flexible than asphalt, which can lead to rutting of the driveway over time. For this reason, many people choose to have their concrete driveways re-sealed rather than having them replaced altogether. That is an excellent way to keep your concrete driveway in top condition for as long as possible, and it will help to keep your home looking beautiful for years to come. Contact an expert supplier today for more information about properly maintaining your concrete driveway.
Concrete is a porous material that will absorb whatever liquids it comes into contact with. If motor oils and other lubricants spill on the driveway, they can seep into cracks and weaken the concrete over time. Removing oil and grease stains with hot, soapy water will minimize their impact.
The salt used to melt snow and ice on concrete is another dangerous ingredient that will cause the concrete to deteriorate faster than without the chemicals. Using alternative deicing products such as cat litter or sand is more environmentally friendly and safer for the concrete.
Sunken concrete sections on a driveway are unsightly, but they can also be dangerous for cars and pedestrians who may trip over them. Re-sealing these areas with a concrete repair compound and then sanding them smooth with coarse-grit sandpaper will raise them back up to the level of the rest of the driveway.
When planting trees or shrubs, be sure to plant them far away from the concrete driveway so their roots don’t push up on the slab and cause it to crack. That is most common with older trees but can also happen to younger ones when they start growing too close.
Retaining walls, sloping the driveway grade, installing a french drain, and keeping the soil around the concrete dry will help reduce damage from tree roots and other factors.
It’s also a good idea to keep vehicles and equipment off the concrete, especially during construction or landscaping work on the property. Heavy construction machinery or vehicles that track over the concrete can cause severe damage to the surface and even break or chip the concrete. It’s best to use the sidewalk or lawn for parking during these times.