Several measures can be taken to reduce the defects that can cause concrete driveways to age prematurely. This article discusses some of those helpful measures that you should take to prolong the life of your concrete driveway.
Reduce Its Permeability
The biggest factor that causes concrete driveways to degrade is moisture. It therefore follows that any measure that you can take to reduce the permeability of your driveway will extend its life. For instance, you can reduce the water/cement ratio during the installation process. Using aggregates of uniform size also reduces the permeability of the resultant concrete.
What about existing driveways? The easiest way to reduce the permeability of an existing concrete driveway is to apply a concrete sealer. That product will prevent water from getting into the pores in the concrete.
Select De-Icing Chemicals Carefully
De-icing chemicals are almost unavoidable if you live in a place that periodically experiences freezing temperatures. Those chemicals help you to clear the driveway of ice so that it remains usable. However, some of those chemicals can damage the concrete on your driveway. You should therefore select de-icing chemicals that are recommended for use on concrete. Such chemicals don't contain sodium, calcium or magnesium chloride.
Clean the Concrete
Some homeowners don't devote adequate attention to cleaning their concrete driveways. Such driveways may degrade quickly due to the different substances, such as lawn fertilisers and petroleum products, which accumulate on those surfaces. Regular cleaning can prevent those substances from damaging your driveway. However, you should avoid using a pressure washer in areas where there are cracks in the concrete driveway, since that pressurised water can cause those cracks to expand.
Keep the Concrete Intact
Avoid doing anything that can damage the surface of your concrete driveway. For instance, you should never drop sharp objects onto the driveway. Similarly, you should buy plastic shovels for use during the removal of snow from the driveway. Such shovels will not damage the driveway. You can also raise the blades when you are using a snow blower to clear the driveway. Raised blades are less likely to damage the concrete surface.
The durability of your concrete driveway starts with selecting the right contractor to install the driveway. You can then implement the suggestions above as you use and care for the driveway so that you ensure that it lasts for as long as it was designed to last. Ask an expert for help in case the driveway develops a defect that you cannot fix on your own.