Exploring New Home Construction

2 Ways To Keep Your Driveway Pristine

Buying a home can be overwhelming. In addition to moving in, setting up utilities, and meeting the new neighbors, you also have the added responsibility of caring for your new place and lot. Although most people understand the importance of installing smoke alarms and mowing the lawn, driveways are often overlooked, which leads to unsightly damage down the road. Here are two ways to keep your concrete driveway pristine, so that you can focus on other things:

1: Watch Those Weeds

If you bought an older home, you might notice a few weeds here and there popping up between the slabs. Although those cute little purple flowers might not seem like an imminent threat to your concrete, they can wreak havoc in no time. As weeds grow, their roots can expand and slowly break apart your driveway. Weeds also have a tendency to develop massive underground root systems. As these root systems get larger, more and more of your driveway can become damaged.

To keep weeds from ruining your carefully poured and leveled cement, use one of these two ways to take care of those pesky plants:

  • Utility Torch: If you want to get rid of those weeds fast, rent a utility torch. By quickly kissing those weeds with a 2000-degree flame, plants will shrivel and die in a few hours and leave your driveway alone.
  • Herbicide: If you prefer to skip the fire, consider using an herbicide. Chemicals like glyphosate disrupt the natural growth cycle of weeds so that they die. The best thing about herbicides is that they are typically non-selective, which means that they will kill every type of plant in the area including grass and out-of-control ground covers. 

If you have existing damage from past weeds, hire a concrete contractor to provide more information and repair your driveway. By patching divots and cracks that weeds have created, you can keep future plants from taking root in the area.  

2: Handle Ice and Snow With Care

During the winter, you might be more concerned with not slipping and falling than you are about the health of your driveway. Unfortunately, slathering your driveway with ice melt can lead to a few unhappy surprises in the spring. Some types of ice melt allow snow to thaw slowly, allowing water to soak into the ground, freeze, and expand, which can break apart your driveway. Here are a few tips for using ice melt, so that you can keep your driveway safe during the winter:

  • Use the Right Ice Melt: Avoid using ice melt that contains chemicals that can attack your concrete, such as Aluminum Chloride, Calcium Sulfate, and Ammonium Chloride. Instead, look for a gentler formulation that contains Calcium Chloride, which allows water to re-freeze quicker to reduce the freeze-thaw cycle.
  • Remove Slush: As soon as your ice melt transforms those ice sheets into piles of slush, take the time to remove it from your driveway. Removing slush will keep extra water from soaking into your concrete, so it can't do as much damage.  
  • Be Careful With Heavy Machinery: That mini-tractor might be fun to operate, but think twice before you use it to shovel snow. Heavy machinery is more powerful than most people realize, which can lead to serious concrete damage in an instant. To keep your concrete safe, consider using a simple plastic shovel or opting for a snow blower instead. 

To really protect your driveway from the elements, consider hiring a concrete repair specialist to re-seal and resurface the entire area. A fresh sealcoat will keep water, salt, and mud from penetrating your driveway throughout the year.

Making your driveway a priority might help you to maintain your home's curb appeal and avoid unplanned expenses.