Best ways to maintain your concrete driveways and patios.
Updated: Dec 16, 2022
Most think of concrete as being maintenance free and immune to damage but that is not the case. Here are a few things you can do to increase the longevity of your driveway or patio.
Keep your surface clean. By cleaning your concrete on a regular basis you can prevent heavy buildup of dirt and mold. Having a clean surface can also help make stains more apparent to ensure that they are cleaned in a timely manner. Using a scrub brush and a mild detergent or having a professional pressure wash the surface are both great solutions.
Stay away from salt and deicers during winter months. Salt and deicers can cause chipping and scaling of the concrete surface. Salt can also work its way into cracks in the concrete and cause rusting of the internal rebar which will eventually lead to spalling. Use sand or kitty litter as an alternative to regain traction without causing damage.
Keep heavy equipment and commercial vehicles off of the concrete. Most driveways and patios are constructed to withstand the weight of your average car or truck but cracking can occur if excess weight is applied by larger equipment. If their is no other option but to drive on the surface than talk to your contractor about ways to prevent damage by laying down wood or rubber in the intended path.
Consider having your concrete professionally cleaned and sealed. Applying a sealer to a cleaned surface can help prevent future staining from oil and gas and will protect internal rebar.
Don't use aggressive cleaners. When removing stains from a concrete surface make sure to identify what you are cleaning and find a cleaner that is designed for cleaning concrete.
Be proactive with your landscaping plan. When planting trees near concrete do some research to see how big the tree will develop to be and how far out the roots will reach. large roots can grow under the concrete causing it to buckle and crack. A good rule of thumb is that the roots will grow out as far as the limbs of the tree.
If cleaning with aggressive chemicals or equipment make sure to research and wear all necessary protective equipment. If you have any questions or need cleaning or a repair done on your driveway of slab call Peterson Construction and Maintenance at 360-580-4403