Although concrete is an incredibly strong, durable product, it needs a little tender loving care to stay in top condition. Here are a few important do’s and don’ts for looking after your concrete driveway and avoiding unsightly cracks and potholes.
Get your driveway sealed.
Like other manmade stone products, concrete is naturally porous, which can allow moisture, pigments, and oils to penetrate the surface. Over time, moisture can seep into the concrete slab, where it can freeze, expand, and break apart the material.
To keep this from happening, have your driveway sealed every 3 to 10 years. If you live in an area that receives large amounts of rain and snow, having your driveway sealed every few years may be necessary to prevent damage.
Remove stains immediately.
While sealed driveways are less likely to stain, it’s important to clean up stains immediately to prevent damage. If you have a vehicle that drips oil, keep cardboard or plastic sheeting underneath the car to prevent stains. Additionally, keep pet litter on hand to clean up stains, as it can absorb moisture and make liquids easy to sweep up.
Use ice melt.
Although it might seem like a good idea to use ice melt on driveways, the forced melting process can perpetuate cement damage. Never use ice melt or road salt on concrete driveways. Instead, use physical snow removal methods such as shoveling or sweeping.
Let heavy vehicles drive over your driveway.
Most residential driveways are rated to handle the weight of just one or two cars, so don’t let large tractors, trucks, or machinery travel on your property. Under that load, your driveway could crack and break.
Remember, if your driveway gets damaged, you can always order a fresh batch of concrete to patch things up. The L. Suzio York Hill Companies has been supplying contractors throughout south-central Connecticut with a variety of aggregates and concrete products since the 1930s. To learn more about their business, visit their website or call (203) 237-8421.