If your concrete driveway is looking worse for wear, it might be time to give it some tender loving care. This is particularly true if you've been neglecting it over the years. Your driveway takes a lot of abuse – from weather damage to daily automotive traffic. Here are three steps you should take to breathe new life into your old driveway.
Conduct Winter Care
With winter just around the corner, it's time to start worrying about the effects of cold weather on your concrete driveway. Snow and ice can wreak havoc on your driveway, but so can chemical deicers. Instead of using a chemical deicer on your driveway – which can cause flaking and crumbling – use a snow shovel or snow blower to get rid of the ice and snow. It's also a good idea to conduct weekly inspections of the soil along the edges of your driveway. If you notice soil erosion, use a shovel to pack soil back under your driveway. This will prevent the edges of your driveway from collapsing.
Clean the Concrete
Once the spring thaw arrives, you'll need to start cleaning your driveway again. Driveways should be cleaned about once a month to remove oil and other debris that could damage the concrete. First, hose your driveway down, using a power nozzle. Second, fill a garden sprayer with water and about 1-cup of grease-cutting detergent. Third, apply a layer of the solution to the entire surface of your driveway and allow it to soak in for about 15 minutes. Fourth, use a push broom to scrub your driveway. Finally, use your garden hose to rinse the driveway.
Repair the Cracks
If you've found small cracks in your driveway, you should repair them as soon as possible. This will prevent them from becoming worse. Use a concrete chisel to chip away the rough edges of the crack. Clean the crack with a wire brush and then vacuum the area with a shop vacuum. Finally, use a small concrete trowel to place a generous amount of concrete filler into each crack. Press the filler into the crack and then smooth the surface using the edge of your trowel. Repeat the process on each driveway crack. Allow the filler to dry before using your driveway again.
Don't take chances with your concrete driveway. To help restore the beauty of your driveway, use the simple maintenance tips provided here. If your driveway has suffered severe damage, you may want to consider having it resurfaced by a masonry contractor.