Many people choose to build their residential driveways using concrete because of the long lifespan associated with concrete constructions. Even though concrete is in itself a durable construction material, how well you take care of it can impact how much service you get out of it. If you have just built a new concrete driveway in your home, the following maintenance tips can go a long way in ensuring its longevity.
The freezing and thawing conditions experienced during the cold winter season can cause a lot of damage to your concrete driveway. What usually happens is that melted ice (water), if left unattended, can find its way through the pores of the concrete and freeze (expand) when temperatures drop below zero degrees Celsius. As the freezing or expansion takes place, the concrete experiences structural stress, which causes it to develop cracks.
A big mistake that several homeowners commit is to use de-icing chemicals whenever they are faced with the problem of snow and ice settling on their concrete structures. These homeowners are usually oblivious to the fact that these ice-melting chemicals do more harm than good on their property. Most of the commercially available de-icers contain harsh chemical compounds, like ammonium sulphate and ammonium nitrate, which attack concrete and cause it to deteriorate extremely quickly. Instead, you should opt for sand. Aside from providing traction, sand will go easy on your concrete during the entire winter spell.
Apply a sealer
Under the usual circumstances, concrete sealers are not used in new concrete structures. These compounds are ordinarily used to treat older surfaces upon the earliest visible detection of weathering effects. Generally, the treatment works best when used before damage has occurred to an extent where the concrete can no longer be restored. But a high-quality sealer can definitely come in handy if it is applied to the new concrete prior to the start of the first winter period.
By sealcoating areas where cracking, spalling or other forms of deterioration have occurred earlier on, you stand a better chance at avoiding the high costs of major repair work that may be needed once the winter season is over. Besides that, you will be able to and increase the service life of your concrete structure. It is advisable to perform a year-after-year sealcoating job on your concrete driveway before the beginning of the winter days so you can give it annual protection.
For more advice, contact a concrete services company in your area.