If you have installed a concrete driveway for your home, good for you! You have made an investment that that will add value and curb appeal to your home. Just like your home itself, your concrete driveway will require some maintenance. Following are some tips to help you keep your concrete driveway looking great for years to come:
• Avoid using de-icing chemicals on your driveway, especially during its first few winters. This is especially important if the surface has not been sealed with a quality concrete sealer. Use sand for traction instead.
• When using deicers, always be sure to check product labels. Some deicers contain chemicals that should not be used on concrete. Never use products that contain magnesium chloride or potassium acetate. Sodium chloride is the safest de-icer for use on concrete.
• Minimize parking vehicles on an unsealed driveway. Salt will drip from cars and trucks and will damage the driveway.
• Fertilizers should never be used as a de-icer. They contain chemicals that will severely damage concrete. Promptly sweep off any fertilizer that is inadvertently cast on the concrete when spreading lawns.
• Water running along pavement during the winter is not a good situation. The saturated pavement can be damaged from freeze/thaw. It may be impossible to prevent water from running across your pavement, but do try and minimize it by redirecting gutter downspouts when possible.
• Use sealer. Sealing your pavement is the best way to protect it and lengthen its life. Sealers come in two basic forms; film-forming and penetrating. Film-forming is generally used on colored concrete because it creates a surface coating which enhances the color of the concrete and makes it appear wet. Penetrating sealer does little to change the color of concrete; however it does keep it from darkening when it gets wet. When you begin to notice that your concrete it darkening when it is wet, it is time to reapply sealer. Sealers with silane or siloxane are the best to use. Be sure to check expiration dates. Sealers have a short shelf life, be sure you buy only what you will use since it won’t keep from next time.