Care And Maintenance Of Concrete Driveway
Proper care and maintenance of concrete driveways is extremely important for a job that will look good and last a lifetime. Once your new concrete driveway has been installed, there are several things you should know to keep your driveway looking new and in great shape for years to come.
To keep from cracking your new concrete driveway, stay off of it for a minimum of 7 days after installation for normal traffic and 14- 30 days after installation for any heavy equipment. The concrete is considered “Green” and needs to cure and harden before it can be opened up for normal use.
2) Construction Equipment
If you plan on doing any type of construction on your property which requires heavy construction equipment or heavy trucks, they should not be allowed on the driveway for at least 30 days after installation. Also, keep skidsteers or loaders from turning on the concrete causing tire tracking on the surface.
Concrete driveways should be sealed for maximum life. We recommend they be sealed a minimum of every 3 to 5 years. If you live in a snowy region and the highway department uses salt/sand mix or magnesium chloride on the roads and streets, sealing the driveway should be performed more frequently and done every 1 to 2 years. This will protect your concrete from these chemicals that can destroy the surface of the concrete and cause spalling and deterioration.
4) Oil Spots
Oil spots are not a major problem as long as they’re cleaned up soon after oil has leaked or spilled onto the concrete. It may stain the concrete, and it will attract dust and dirt, but it’s not something to be concerned about structurally. It’s more unsightly than anything. A commercial de-greaser, a heavy bristled brush, water and some scrubbing will remove most oil spots. But be aware, they may still be visible for months or even years.
5) Low Spots/Bird Baths
Once the driveway installation is complete, you may notice some small, very minor bird baths after it rains or snows. They may or may not be a problem depending on how deep they are. To determine if a low spot is a potential problem. Fill the low spot with water and then drop a quarter (coin) into it. If it doesn’t completely cover the quarter, then it’s really nothing to worry about. Now, if it’s a quarter inch deep or more and it’s bigger than 2 or 3 feet in diameter, that could potentially be a problem and cause spalling, or even failure in the future. In this case, call your installation contractor.
6) Ice Melting Products
Ice melting products are very handy in the wintertime, but THEY SHOULD NOT BE USED UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES! Especially if you have a stamped or patterned concrete driveway. To learn more, watch this video about concrete de-icers featuring one of our trusted members!
7) Snow Removal
If you plow the snow on your driveway, or you hire someone to do it for you, make sure if chains are used on the tires, not to allow the wheels to spin in place. This can cause permanent scarring to the surface of the concrete that may not be noticeable until the spring. Unfortunately, there’s nothing that can be done to repair these unsightly damages.
8) Moving Vans
On more than one occasion we’ve seen moving vans completely destroy a concrete driveway. Avoid allowing moving vans on your driveway if at all possible.
9) Trash Collection Trucks
Trash trucks are extremely heavy and can destroy even 6” thick parking lots. DON’T LET THEM ON YOUR NEW CONCRETE DRIVEWAY!
A lot of times we find the unethical, “fly by night” rip off contractors won’t even call you back if you have problems like low spots, excessive cracking, etc. with your new concrete driveway. The bottom line is they don’t care about you or their reputation. We find a lot of contractors will promise people over and over to come back and fix things, but then never show up. They put homeowners off until the warranty has run out. Don’t let this happen to you. Before you hire any contractor, see our report on “The Most Common Ways Concrete Installation Contractors Rip Us Off and How To Avoid Them” and become familiar with some of the ways these “fly by night” contractors rip homeowners off!
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