Your concrete driveway requires proper maintenance and protection in order to endure harsh weather conditions and resist damage. Once you’ve noticed the first signs of detriment, you should act immediately to prevent further decay. Before making the necessary repairs, you should check the weather forecast because you’ll need a couple of sunny days to finish the work.
Identify the Damaged Areas
The first step of driveway maintenance is identifying the areas with cracks, potholes, stains, or crumbling spots. You need to check your driveway thoroughly in order not to miss any damaged area. Since the end and the edges of a driveway are especially prone to damage, you should examine these areas carefully. Once you’ve identified all problematic spots, you can move on to treating them one by one.
Filling in even the smallest cracks is of utmost importance; otherwise, they can quickly become bigger. Prior to repairing cracks and any other damages, you should clean the driveway thoroughly from stones, weeds, dirt or any other residue.
Depending on the crack size, you can choose a variety of different fillers, from caulking tubes, bottles of pourable-liquid to preformed rolls. You can use liquid fillers for smaller cracks, while caulk or roll fillers are more suitable for cracks between one-quarter and one-half an inch. If the cracks are wider than a half an inch, you should place foam backer rod into the crack, and then use rolls or caulk.
Potholed and crumbled areas should be treated with blacktop patch – bagged asphalt that is ready to use. Before applying the patch, you should thoroughly clean the area with a vacuum cleaner or brush. Once you’ve cleaned the pothole, use a shovel to spread blacktop patch across the area and about two inches deep. The next step is compacting the pothole with a hand tamper, and then applying the patch once again if necessary. Once the hole is slightly overfilled, you should drive your car over it a couple of times until it’s even with the driveway. In case the patch sinks down, you should repeat the process once again.
If there are some grease or oil stains on your driveway, you can get rid of them with little effort. Before applying any other measures, just try to remove the stains using a bristle scrub brush and hot, soapy water. If the stains don’t come off, you can dissolve them with a degreaser.
Seal the Driveway
The final step that will ensure your driveway’s durability is sealer application. However, prior to this step, you need to prepare your driveway by cleaning it meticulously. You should sweep away any residue, rinse off dirt, grit or sand. You should work your way from its top towards its end and edges. Once your driveway is spotlessly clean and dry, you can move on to sealing.
There’s a plenty of available driveway sealers that vary in price and features. Tar-emulation sealers are the least expensive ones, but they provide minimal protection and require constant stirring during the application. Among the most popular ones are asphalt-emulation sealers – they provide excellent protection and don’t require constant stirring. There’s also a special concrete paint that can protect your driveway with impervious coating, while simultaneously giving it an attractive look.
When it comes to the sealing process, you should use the methods and tools outlined in the instructions, as they can vary depending on the sealer type. Typically, sealer is spread across the driveway using a rubber squeegee with a stiff-bristle brush on the other side used to even it out. Instead of applying one thick coat, you should apply two thinner ones – just let the first coat dry for 6 to 12 hours before applying the second one.
In order to maximize the durability of your driveway, you should repair any cracks and damages as soon as you notice them and then apply a high-quality sealer. This way, you will protect your driveway and save money on frequent repairs.
Article written by Lillian Connors. If one thing is true about Lillian Connors, her mind is utterly curious. That’s why she can’t resist the urge to embark on a myriad of home improvement projects and spread the word about them. As the Co-Editor at SmoothDecorator, she cherishes the notion that sustainable housing and gardening will not only make us far less dependent on others regarding the dwellings we inhabit and what we eat, but also contribute to our planet being a better place to live on. You can check her out on Twitter and LinkedIn.