So it’s the big day. The contractors are done building your brand new home, and now you get to enjoy the fantastic benefits that this large investment brings. Of course, while it’s great to settle in and get acquainted with your new surroundings, it may be a good idea to think about what you should do to help maintain the appeal of the place. The last thing you want to have to put up with is yet another expense after spending all those years saving up for a down payment, right?
While there are plenty of topics we could discuss regarding the maintenance of your home, we figure we should focus in on the topic we know best, and that’s concrete! Chances are if you have a driveway, that contractor you hired laid down some concrete. After all, this mixture is built to withstand the elements while being highly flexible during its application.
However, like a child trying to lie to their parents, concrete will start to crack under pressure. Whether it’s the extreme weather conditions, chemical spills, tire marks, or oil and grease, concrete can take a beating. This is why we’re going to take a moment and teach you a few do-it-yourself methods you can use to protect the concrete flooring in your home!
Avoid the Use of Deicing Chemicals
As we mentioned, one of the biggest factors that will harm the appearance and functionality of concrete is from stains. This is especially true if you live in an area where it snows as deicers can cause a good deal of surface damage when the moisture is thawed and refreezes. Many of those store-bought products you use to remove ice from surfaces contain ammonium nitrates and sulfates which can erode concrete.
While rock salt tends to do less damage, they can still corrode metal and harm any vegetation it touches. We recommend avoiding the use of deicers the first winter after the concrete has been initially applied since your concrete will be far more vulnerable to the harmful effects of salt – it needs to build up a level of durability first. Instead, consider using sand to give you that much-needed traction you desire.
Remove Any Stains Right Away
Just like if you made a mess on the kitchen floor, it’s a really good idea that you remove any gas, oil, grease, or any other spills as immediately as possible. The sealer is designed to protect concrete from stain absorption, but that won’t stop it from causing discoloration. However, if this does happen, consider investing in a good chemical treatment product or a power washing service.
To keep your driveway looking its best, it’s a good idea to clean it on a regular basis. Just like with deicing chemicals, this will all depend on the weather conditions where you live along with the amount of vehicle traffic it gets.
Reapply Your Sealer When Needed
You will also want to have your driveway resealed regularly. By rule of thumb, you should have your driveway resealed every two to three years, especially when the finish begins to show some wear. You can find commercial-grade sealers at a hardware store, or you can always ask your contractor for any recommendations. Make sure when you do use a concrete sealer that you closely follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Bottom line – you want to treat your driveway with care. Whether you’re shoveling your driveway, be aware of how susceptible this material can be to scrapes and scratches. Driveways also aren’t engineered to support heavy vehicles, like moving fans or large construction equipment. Keep all of these tips in mind if you want to maintain the quality of your driveway!