How to Protect Your Concrete Driveway From Environmental Damage

How to Protect Your Concrete Driveway From Environmental Damage
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July 28, 2020

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Maintaining your concrete driveway right from the moment it is built can be a great challenge. This is so because of the extreme weather variations as well as human activity. When it is summer, the heat makes your concrete expand and develop cracks. And times of downpours are not friendly to your concrete driveway either. So, unless you know how to protect it in all weather conditions, you are likely to incur heavy maintenance costs.

The following tips will go a long way in helping you prolong the life of your concrete driveway.

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Allow it to Properly Cure Concrete Driveways

Allow your driveway enough time to dry after construction. Give it at least a week before you start parking light vehicles like vans and SUVs. Allow it at least one month before you begin parking heavy vehicles. Otherwise, it will begin to sag from too much weight and force you to start lifting it soon after construction. Lifting it to achieve evenness is an expense you can avoid by simply allowing your concrete driveway ample time to dry before you start using it.

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Your contractor seals the driveway after pouring the concrete. The right sealer for concrete driveways covers the driveway to prevent water, oil, and other liquids from penetrating it. Be sure to continue applying the sealer after construction work is over. Apply it a month after you start using the driveway and at least once annually thereafter. The aim is to try as much as you can to stave off the odds of moisture accumulating on the driveway. Moisture weakens the structure and cracks begin to emerge when weights go over it.

Pro tip: In the extremes of weather cracks are probable to appear in your concrete driveway often. You can, therefore, apply a sealer for concrete driveways as soon as you spot any crack. Prevention is better than cure. Waiting to see a couple of cracks may see you build a new driveway. 

Drainage

There should be a proper drainage system within your concrete driveway and the areas surrounding it. Poor drainage will see rainwater stagnating on the driveway. Therefore, your contractor should ensure the driveway slants a little to drain away water when it rains.

If construction work is done during summer, then observe the behavior of the driveway at the onset of winter. If rainwater stagnates on it, know you are likely to incur many maintenance expenses. Get hold of the contractor to fix the drainage before the water causes major damage to the driveway. 

concrete driveways

Protection Against Strong Sun Rays

Exposure to strong UV rays from the sun makes concrete expand and it can results in fissures or cracks in your driveway. So how then do you shelter your concrete driveway from the intense heat from the sun? Well, if you have the financial muscle to put up a roof over it, then do it. 

However, the easiest and less expensive option is the use of a sealer for concrete driveways. 

The sealer forms a layer of protection over your driveway because it is a poor conductor of heat. Therefore, apply it to cushion your driveway from the impact of strong sun rays.

Vegetation Growth

Mold and mildew will grow on a poorly maintained concrete driveway because concrete absorbs moisture. The moisture will promote vegetation growth on your driveway. So, you have to find a way of ridding your concrete driveway of moisture. And the sure way is applying an effective sealer for concrete driveways. The glossy nature of the sealer makes it impermeable and thus prevents water from penetrating the concrete driveway. 

Chemicals 

Ensure the environment around your concrete driveway is free of such things as deicers. These chemical compounds react with concrete and make it weak. When it becomes weak, it will start cracking when vehicles move or are parked on it. 

Most deicers contain calcium chloride, sodium chloride, ammonium sulfate, and ammonium nitrate. These are salts that react with concrete by breaking down its chemical composition and making it weak. Most commercial fertilizers contain these salts and you should clean your concrete driveway when they spill on it. 

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Regular Cleaning 

Remove stains from your concrete driveway as soon as you spot them. Chances are there will be spillages when you are changing the engine oil of your car or applying grease. So, be sure to clean up once you are done with the exercise should there be spillage to your driveway.

You can use a push broom to clean the concrete driveway. Note that different types of stains require different types of stain removers. Knowing the correct stain remover to use on paint, rust, oil, pet, and plant stains is crucial. Concrete driveway stain removers come in the form of alkaline, acidic, bio-remedial, pH neutral stain removers, and more. Therefore, be sure to use the right stain remover on the right stain.

Avoid Preparing Firm Chemicals from Your Concrete Driveway

Do not allow your farm workers to prepare chemicals for spraying your lawns and other plants from the driveway. Some of the chemicals might be harmful to the driveway.

Avoid Excessive Weight

Concrete driveways can only withstand a limited amount of weight. the Parking of heavy vehicles like bulldozers is likely to overstress your driveway. Remember concrete driveways are reinforced with metal bars that can only hold a limited amount of weight. Too much weight will make your driveway sag and crack.

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How to Seal Your Concrete Driveway

Sealing your concrete driveway is the surest way to protect it from many environmental hazards. The sealers helps to extend the life of your driveway. However, the sealing cannot be done by every person. You need an expert who is experienced and understands the best maintenance practices as far as concrete driveways are concerned. 

Fortunately, you don’t have to look too far. We, at Armor Coatings, use industry-standard sealers that penetrate and bond with your concrete driveway to make it impervious. It also seals all cracks to give you an even surface. Besides, that dull look on your driveway will pave way for an attractive appearance that makes your driveway look good as new. Reach out to us to make the most out of your concrete driveway investment.

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