10 Ways to Maintain Your Home’s Concrete

Concrete MaintenanceCongratulations, you’re a homeowner!  Perhaps you’ve watched your home being built from the ground up, or you’ve decided to take on a property that has seen some years; either way, you’ve decided to take a property and metamorphous it into a home.

There are great rewards and equally great challenges to this process.  The list of items to maintain or repair can be long.  Today we’re discussing one item that many homeowners don’t think about too often, but can be a heavy hitter to the budget if not maintained properly: your concrete.

Sidewalks, drives, patios; how you display and care for them are all part of what makes your property your home, but it is often easy to neglect their proper maintenance.  Maintenance is by far less expensive than repair, so let’s look at the top ten things you can do to keep the concrete of your home looking great.

1. Cleanliness is next to Godliness

Okay, that’s just an old saying (you won’t even find it in the Bible) but it has some truth.  Perhaps you won’t make your driveway divine, but keeping your concrete areas cleaned is the first step to preventing wear and tear that leads to repair.  A pressure washer is a great tool and can be rented quite easily (or perhaps borrowed from your new neighbor).  If you have some discolorations or stains you are not able to remove you can even enlist the help of professional power washers to get the job done right.

2. Sealed with a kiss

Sealing your newly cleaned concrete helps protect it from the hardships of life.  How often? Well that depends on the daily wear and tear but every 3-5 years is a good rule of thumb.  Mind those “door to door” sealing crews as you may just wind up short on seal and cash.  If you aren’t comfortable sealing on your own, seek out a reputable concrete company to help you get the job done.

3. Don’t cry over spilt anything

Don’t cry, but clean it up.  The longer spills like motor oil or other chemicals sit on your concrete, the more damage they’ll do.  Most of these spills can be cleaned with an absorbent material you have on hand; kitty litter, saw dust, even corn meal!  Soak up the worst, wash the rest.  Use detergents appropriate for the spill in question.  Soap and water will cover a lot of bases.

4. Ice or not to Ice

Not to ice is the answer.  Any deicing product is damaging to your concrete.  Even plain old rock salt.  Most often, removing the snow and letting the sun do its job is the best answer.  If you do have problem ice spots, a little sand goes a long way, and it is easily swept away in the spring.  Not only will your drive and walks thank you, but your grass and flowers will too.  Deicing products are equally hard on the vegetation around your concrete.

5. Change is inevitable

If you enjoy working on your vehicle, please do so, just not on your driveway.  If you don’t have any choice, make the investment in a large drip pan from your local auto store.  Again, prevention is less expensive than curing.  If you slip a bit see tip #3.

6. Look sharp! Actually, don’t look sharp

Well, look sharp, just don’t use sharp.  Ice scrappers and snow shovels with metal edges that can chip and crack the surface of concrete should be avoided.  So when you do have to shovel, go plastic.

7. Weed me alone

Keep the weeds and plants from “coming up” in the joints of your walks and concrete.  Even the smallest of plants can have serious effects on your concrete as their roots will work their way in to hairline cracks.  Trees should be planted far enough away from concrete areas to keep their roots structures from “heaving” the concrete surface.

8. Don’t do cracks

If you notice a crack forming in your concrete, repair it immediately.  Cracks can sometime be unavoidable as the earth beneath your concrete shifts and moves.  Fix them immediately to avoid them from becoming larger.

9. Resurface?

Maybe.  Perhaps the previous owners didn’t care as much as they should have.  Perhaps there are just too many cracks and pits to simply patch.  Resurface the drive or walk is basically giving it a new top layer so it looks new again.  This may be the most costly of maintenance choices, but is still, by far less expensive than replacing a drive or walk.  Seek your local concrete professional to help make that determination and do the job for you.

10. Uh, it’s not concrete

If you have a brick or stone paver drive or walk that has been damaged, or is in need of some repair you should seek a pro.  The damaged area(s) will actually have to be removed and rebuilt.  This is a job for masonry contractor so repairs will be seamless will look like new.

 

There you have it! There’s 10 ways to maintain your home’s concrete. If you have any questions, leave a comment below, or contact us if you’re looking for help with your concrete needs.

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