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Concrete driveway with maintenance

Guide To Concrete Driveway Maintenance

Erickson AsphaltJanuary 24, 2023

Concrete is one of the strongest and most popular building materials. It is widely used in driveway construction due to its natural durability.

However, it is also necessary to maintain the concrete in order to extend its lifespan. Although concrete doesn’t require extensive maintenance, taking proper care and doing periodic concrete driveway maintenance will help you to avoid costly repairs. 

Concrete driveways are susceptible to damage from the weather as well as to cracks from shovels and heavy equipment. Concrete can also become discolored and suffer other types of damage when it isn’t cared for properly. Learning the proper steps to take for effective concrete driveway maintenance will help you to enjoy your concrete driveway for many years to come. 

New Concrete Driveway Care

Concrete is a strong and durable material for driveways and is a popular option for homeowners in many different climates. After installing your new concrete driveway, it's important to know how to care for it.

On the first day after installation, it's essential to make sure people stay off of the freshly poured concrete to avoid leaving any markings. After 24 hours, it's safe to walk on the concrete, but you shouldn’t put heavy loads on top of it.

After seven to ten days, the concrete will have cured, and it's safe to park your car on it. To maintain the structural integrity of your new concrete driveway, avoid parking large trucks such as dump trucks on its surface. 

Ongoing Care

Once your new driveway has settled and the initial curing phase is over, it's essential to continue ongoing care. Maintaining your concrete driveway will help you avoid cracks, fissures, and discoloration from affecting your concrete. Below are some of the best concrete driveway maintenance tips to help you properly maintain your concrete driveway.  

Avoid Heavy Loads

As you strive to maintain your driveway in the best possible condition, it's necessary to avoid placing a heavy weight load on it. Concrete driveways simply aren’t designed to have heavy equipment parked on them. Avoid parking dump trucks, cement trucks, or other heavy equipment on top of your concrete driveway. 

Seal Your Concrete

One of the best ways to maintain the condition of your concrete is to seal it. There are many different types of sealants to choose from, including environmentally friendly sealants. Concrete sealing protects it from water and chemicals and keeps it from retaining stains.

It’s best to protect your concrete by applying a concrete sealer while the concrete is still curing. The proper concrete sealant can help to keep out oil stains from gasoline grease and other unsightly stains. 

Since concrete is naturally porous, it absorbs liquids. When water gets inside the concrete, it can damage it. The freezing temperatures in the climate cause the water within the concrete to expand. This causes cracks and fissures. The end result is a costly repair or sometimes a complete replacement if the concrete becomes too damaged. 

Park Smart

When taking steps to complete proper concrete driveway maintenance, it's essential to park smart. You should stay away from the edges of the concrete driveway, which are the weakest points. You should also avoid parking vehicles in the same spot long-term. 

These measures can prevent undue stress from cracking the concrete and causing lasting damage. Being mindful of where you are parking can help you to avoid a costly repair job for your concrete driveway. 

Fill The Edges

With the edges of the concrete driveway being the weakest points, it helps to take steps to reinforce this area. One of the best ways to do this is by backfilling the edges of the concrete with dirt.

Using dirt to fill the spaces around the concrete form can help you to strengthen the driveway and prevent premature damage on these vulnerable areas.

Smart Landscaping

Being mindful of the placement of your landscaping is key. This will help you to avoid future issues with tree roots that can affect your concrete driveway.

When trees mature and their root systems expand, the roots can cause large fissures in the concrete. Landscapers should be aware of planting trees and large bushes far enough away from your concrete driveway. 

Adjust Sprinklers

Another element of landscaping to consider is the placement of sprinklers. Irrigation systems can impact the lifespan of your concrete driveway. Watering the concrete isn’t an environmentally friendly step for your home, as its a waste of water and money. 

Snow Removal

Heavy Minnesota snowfalls can be a challenge for homeowners, and many resort to the strongest tools and equipment. However, certain types of snow removal techniques and equipment can actually harm your concrete driveway.

For safe concrete driveway maintenance, you should avoid using rock salt, as this can actually cause the concrete to deteriorate and experience corrosion at a much faster rate. De-icing chemicals also pose a danger to the concrete, so it's best to stay away from those as well. A great alternative to salt is cat litter or sand, which provide great traction on slippery ice. 

Another danger to concrete driveways is metal shovels. Whenever possible, use plastic shovels, which are much gentler on the concrete. You can also opt for a snow blower, which is the safest option. When breaking up ice blocks, it helps to avoid using pickaxes or other sharp tools. as these can scratch the concrete and cause lasting damage. 

Clean Up Spills

Chemicals can stain the concrete and reduce its aesthetic appeal, and some can even cause the concrete to deteriorate. This is why it's best to clean up spills right after they happen instead of leaving them to set in. Remove spills from oil and gas as well as any other spills that can negatively impact the concrete.

Remove Fertilizers

It’s common to use fertilizers near concrete driveways, as homeowners often place flowers and plants along the edging. However, fertilizers can affect the concrete and cause it to degrade. It’s important to sweep off excess fertilizer from the concrete’s surface as quickly as possible. 

Make Repairs Quickly

Cracks in the concrete are not only unsightly, but they can also spread. It's best to repair cracks in the concrete as quickly as possible so that they don’t spread. This ensures that more damage isn’t caused to the surrounding concrete.  Once water gets into the cracks, it can cause severe damage to the structural integrity of the concrete.

Trusted Concrete Maintenance Services

Maintain your driveway with the best concrete driveway maintenance services in Minnesota with Erickson Asphalt. Count on over 30 years of quality service to keep your concrete driveway looking its best.