Do you have a decorative driveway that you would like to protect from weather and other conditions like your vehicles? Or maybe you’re planning on getting one, but don’t know what follows after getting one?
Whichever is the case, here I’ve gathered some tips on maintaining decorative driveways. These are nothing mindblowing, but something that mostly gets ignored when it could save time and money to do it regularly.
After all, most of the maintaining is always something quite simple that everyone can do. Now, to move on let us have a look at decorative driveways to see what we’re dealing with. After all, it’s important to treat every surface like it is supposed to.
If you have a beautiful, decorative concrete driveway, then you know just how stunning these creations can be. However, while concrete is one of the most durable building materials in the world, your driveway will require some specific maintenance in order to stay that beautiful over the long term.
In fact, not maintaining your driveway can spell disaster. If you’re not sure what steps to take in order to keep your drive looking good for decades to come, the following tips will help you with the task.
Your decorative driveway might be stained concrete, exposed aggregates, or even stamped concrete. What’s common for all of these is that a lot of effort has been put into making them.
Keep it clean
The foundation of a long-lasting decorative concrete driveway is to keep it clean. Regularly sweeping and washing the concrete will help keep dirt and debris from building up.
This is particularly true with stamped concrete. Dirt and debris can easily build up in the crevices of stamped designs, allowing weeds and plants to gain a foothold. Once established, these can cause real problems for you, including cracking your concrete.
A pressure washer is a homeowner’s best friend when it comes to concrete. It can be quite therapeutic to wash concrete with it and you get to see how the concrete starts to look new again.
Once the concrete starts to crack, it is a process that keeps on getting worse. If you live in a place with freezing weather, the moisture in the crack will keep it widening every time it melts and refreezes. Salt that’s used for de-icing will only make it worse.
Keep it sealed
Yet another important consideration with maintaining decorative concrete driveways is the sealant used. More specifically, it requires that you keep your driveway well sealed.
The layer of sealant over the concrete helps ensure that water (and other fluids) isn’t able to penetrate the concrete. As stated before, water will cause real damage to your concrete, especially during the freeze/thaw cycle.
Also, if you live where the winter gets cold, it’s good to seal the concrete to protect it from the salt that is used for keeping the roads melted. In concrete, it can cause cracks to widen and concrete spalling with time.
Buckling and cracking can be the results, which are not things that you want to see. If it happens despite sealing, it would be good to fix it as soon as possible. Here is a guide for that.
Pressure wash serious stains
No matter how fastidious you are with your driveway maintenance, you will eventually have stains to deal with. Whether it’s oil, rust, dirt, or something else that’s managed to mar the surface of your beautiful driveway, you need to have the tools on hand to take care of them.
One of the most important tools for this is a good pressure washer. You should also have a mild detergent that won’t strip off the layer of sealant. Pressure washing serious stains as soon as possible will help keep them from becoming permanent parts of your design.
The other thing with regular washing is that you don’t have to use so much force. With high-pressure washers, it’s too easy to damage the concrete. It can draw ugly marks on the concrete that will stay there as hard as the stains you’re trying to prevent.
Keep your shine
One of the best parts of decorative concrete driveways is the deep luster. However, over time and use, that luster will begin to fade.
Part of maintaining your driveway is ensuring that it looks just as good in 10 years as it did when it was installed – thankfully, a good coat of sealer will help return the luster to your drive and help deepen the colors in your concrete.
When you first seal your driveway, you should check what’s the recommended sealing cycle and also note what sealant you use so you can use the same product or the same kind of product. There are differences and all might not work well together.
It starts with the construction
The most important tip for ensuring that your driveway looks great for years to come actually has nothing to do with maintenance and everything to do with initial construction.
Make sure you work with a reputable, expert contractor who is knowledgeable about decorative concrete and dedicated to providing clients with the highest quality results possible.
A contractor who knows their job can help ensure that your driveway looks beautiful for decades to come and can help you learn more about the various maintenance needs it will have.
How to maintain a decorative concrete driveway is really all about basic chores that should be repeated regularly to keep it in top shape. Like everything else in owning property, keeping good care of it will help you to maintain its value.
If you have already invested in decorative concrete, you know how it can cost a lot. It only makes sense to take measures to preserve it then. Those measures can be regular cleaning and sealing like mentioned before.
If you see some spalling in the concrete, I’d advise you to stop it before it spreads any further. It might look ugly in the decorative concrete if you don’t do it well, but it will be even more ugly when it spreads too far and heavy maintenance has to be done.
That being said, here is also a guide on making and installing concrete wheel stops. It might help with keeping the concrete around in good shape.