From plain textured concrete to intricate engraved designs, there are many styles to choose from that can complement any home. What they all have in common is that they are going to be exposed to sun, dirt, cold, and snow, and driven on day in and day out. With all that wear and tear it can seem daunting to keep an investment like a decorative concrete driveway in good condition, but it is easier than you may think.
Following a few simple best practices when it comes to installation and maintenance can keep your decorative concrete driveway in like new condition for years to come.
Tip #1: Invest to make it nice.
Your driveway is a home feature that you will see and use every single day for years, so take the time and effort to really make it nice.
You can use colors, finishes, textures, and engraving to create a unique driveway that beautifully complements your home. Work together with a decorative concrete installation specialist and even a home designer if you can.
If your driveway is special to you not only will you enjoy seeing it every day, but you will be more motivated to take care of it over time.
Tip #2: Add color.
Adding a color finish can make your concrete driveway more resilient. Color hardeners are applied to concrete and make them more durable and resistant to weather damage. Earth tones and warm browns, reds, and yellows make timeless designs. The color finish on your concrete driveway will prevent scratches and everyday wear and tear.
Tip #3: Finish the job with protecting sealer.
Make sure that your decorative concrete driveway is finished with coats of protective sealer. If you are not sure what that is or which one to use, ask, and insist that it is part of the process.
Protective sealer is a barrier that keeps oil, dirt, and grease from seeping into the concrete, and keeps the color from fading in the sun. Protective sealer does not mean you can "set it and forget it," but it will make maintenance easier and keep your driveway looking new longer. Make sure that the surface and the joints of the concrete are treated with the sealer for the best results.
Tip #4: Keep it clean.
If you have a spill or notice that oil or grease has dripped onto your driveway, clean it off as quickly as possible. The sealer helps your driveway resist these elements, but they can cause damage or discoloration if they sit for too long. Every 6-12 months clean your concrete driveway. If it starts to look dull or faded, you will be delighted at how quickly the decorative driveway comes back to life with a simple cleaning.
Consult the specialists who installed your driveway for the best cleaners to use. You generally want to avoid solvent-based or chlorine-based cleaners which can damage the sealer and color on decorative concrete. Your concrete pros can steer you toward the cleaning tools you need to maintain a beautiful driveway.
Tip #5: Don’t overload.
Driveways are hearty surfaces, but everything has its load bearing limit. Fading and oil drips can easily be fixed, but a crack in your perfect decorative concrete driveway is a real bummer. Avoid overloading your driveway with heavy work utility vehicles or equipment that may fall or otherwise cause damage to the concrete. These heavy loads will put unnecessary pressure on your decorative concrete that can lead to cracks, plus they often drip oil, gas or grease more than standard vehicles.
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In conclusion, a decorative concrete driveway is a great way to give the entire exterior of your home a facelift. It will improve your home’s value and make it more enjoyable for you to live in every day. With some simple proactive steps like protecting sealer and color finishes on installation followed up with basic maintenance, your decorative concrete will look as good as new for years to come.
Speak with your installation specialists about the products and tools you will need to keep your driveway in like new condition. Yes, there will be some upfront costs, but compared to the cost of having to repave, restore or repair cracks it will be well worth it in the long run. Best of all, you will be able to enjoy an attractive exterior feature of your home.
Image Credit: Pixabay
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