Regularly Clean and Seal
Basic maintenance can do a lot to prevent damage. Regular concrete cleaning and restoration is the most important part of that maintenance. Some surfaces will need to get cleaned more often than others, with the frequency depending on the amount of traffic that they receive and a variety of environmental factors. In general, surfaces that see more use and are in environments that expose them to grit and crime need more maintenance than sheltered and rarely-used concrete surfaces. Most people should expect to thoroughly clean and reseal their concrete once every couple of years. Basic cleaning, such as washing off accumulate grit, should happen two or three times per year. Any messes that could stain the concrete should get cleaned as quickly as possible.
The maintenance process can get fairly complicated because the concrete also needs to get resealed on a regular basis. Homeowners can do the work on their own, but it does require some special equipment. Individuals who don’t feel confident in their skills or who don’t have the right tools can call in professionals to get their concrete restored to pristine condition.
Concrete surfaces are extremely durable, but any substance can break if it gets abused. The best way to protect a concrete surface is to prevent things from damaging it in the first place. Fortunately, the durability of the material means that it is relatively easy to do so.
The most important thing to do is to avoid creating cracks or scratches in the surface. Many people damage concrete sidewalks or driveways by using too much force when they shovel or plow snow off of the surface. Humans can easily hit the concrete with enough force to cause damage if they are using a sharp metal shovel or plow. Simply being gentle and avoiding metal blades will avoid this problem in most cases. Similarly, some deicing chemicals can also cause damage to a concrete surface. Every chemical is different, so it’s important to look up the details of each one to see if it reacts with concrete before applying it.
Heavy objects and vehicles can also wear down a concrete surface. A normal vehicle won’t cause any problems, but a particularly heavy can or a construction vehicle can cause damage very quickly. When in doubt, homeowners should try to err on the side of caution to avoid risking their concrete.
Fix Problems Early
It is always easier to fix a little problem than a big one. Unfortunately, little problems tend to turn into big problems if they go too long without getting fixed. It is vital to repair even minor cracks in the concrete as soon as possible after they appear to make sure that they do not expand and spread to other parts of the concrete.