Your concrete driveway is a highly durable paved surface that withstands both the weather and the weight of your vehicle. However, like all surfaces exposed to the elements, it can begin to degrade and break down over time. Understanding some of the most important ways you can maintain the appearance and structural integrity of your concrete driveway can help you avoid expensive repair and replacement bills.
The key part of maintaining your concrete driveway, or any other concrete surface for that matter, is regular sealing. Most concrete will be sealed immediately after it is poured; the sealant acts as a protective physical barrier that prevents cracking and physical damage to the surface of your driveway and will also keep chemicals and liquids from staining the concrete. However, just like everything else that has to deal with constant weather exposure, this layer of sealant will break down over time and will need to be reapplied every few years (generally every two is a good rule of thumb, but talk to a contractor to see if your climate requires more constant care).
Avoid Metal Shovels
Another important part of making sure that your concrete driveway stays in good structural condition throughout the year is taking care of it properly during the winter. You'll want to remove snow and ice to ensure that water is not able to seep into the material and cause cracking if it refreezes, but you should also take care with the tools that you use to do so. While metal shovels may be more effective at removing ice that has stuck onto the surface of your driveway, they come with the risk of scratching the surface of your concrete, which can leave unsightly cuts and physical surface damage in your driveway once all of the snow has melted away.
Finally, the last but certainly one of the most important parts of maintaining your concrete driveway is to repair any damage as soon as it occurs. In the event that you can spot any cracks in the surface, you'll either want to repair the damage yourself, which is possible only if the damage is relatively small, or have a contractor take care of it. To patch small cracks yourself, you'll need to purchase a concrete patching kit, available at most hardware stores. You'll clean the area around the crack, sweeping away any dust, and apply the patching kit. These kits come in squeeze kits and mix kits. Squeeze kits only require you to squeeze the bottle over the course of the crack and then flatten it out with a trowel whereas a mix kit will require you to mix concrete powder and water together and then spread it out over the cracked area with a trowel, letting it sit for several hours to harden.
Speak to paving contractors in your city, such as New England Paving, for more tips on maintaining your concrete driveway.