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The main causes of driveway problems include excessive weight, temperature changes, lack of maintenance, and water penetration. These mentioned harsh elements would cause cracks and potholes that would need repair. This is why it’s advisable that asphalt driveways should be inspected every six months to determine and fix any issues. Minor cracks can easily be fixed using asphalt tape.
But how do you repair your driveway right the first time? Read on to find the best ways to properly repair a driveway.
1. Clean and Declutter
A concrete driveway usually lasts for 40 years or more. However, as time passes by, dirt, stains, and cracks will develop. If you want to make your concrete driveway look new again, it's important to clean and declutter your driveway. Use a power washer to remove all dirt, unnecessary things around, and stains built up for many years.
Here's how to pressure wash to clean your driveway:
- Prepare the driveway by removing dirt and debris with a push broom. To protect the finish, cover walls, doors, or windows near your driveway with painter’s tape or tarp.
- To break up stubborn stains, such as grease, use the intended washer attachment tool. To finish degreasing your driveway, scrub the concrete using a stiff brush or push broom.
- Prepare your pressure washer by adding detergent. Also, don’t forget to follow the manufacturer's instructions when using the pressure washer.
- Wear your safety gear and clean the concrete driveway–starting at the highest end to allow water to flow down the driveway.
Rinse the detergent off the concrete using the rinse mode setting on the pressure washer.
2. Patch Things Up
It’s important to repair any loose concrete before the condition of your driveway gets worse. You can do this by using a hammer and a chisel. Remember that repairing small pockmarks may cause minor imperfections in the surface, which will look different from the rest of the concrete.
You might also want to hire a professional or concrete contractor to patch large cracks and potholes. Check this website to find one of the best concrete contractors today.
3. Don't Rush
You have to take the time to work with concrete. After concrete patching, patched areas will be acidic, which is not good when you're planning to coat them with paint or sealer.
The usual waiting period is at least four weeks, which is sufficient time for the patched areas to become more neutral. The sealer will work as expected with a more neutral pH.
4. Consider Stamped Concrete Services
A plain concrete driveway may look boring, so you might want to consider installing a stamped concrete. This concrete technique will help increase the aesthetic appeal and value of your property.
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5. Use Sealers or Water Repellent
Sealers are generally film-forming products that stay on the surface to make a concrete driveway darker and shiny.
Cheap sealers generally don’t last. That’s why it’s best to use a premium product instead of a cheap sealer because your driveway will surely benefit in the long-term. By doing so, you don't have to worry about your driveway needing repair too soon.
However, the problem with sealers is that they wear and peel off easily. For this reason, water repellents are highly recommended. Water repellents, like silane or siloxanes, will soak into the concrete without altering its appearance. With this, you can expect a long-lasting concrete, especially when a water repellent is applied correctly.
Here are some qualities you need to look out for prior to buying sealers or water repellents for your concrete driveway:
- Choose one with a ‘salt-screen’ as it’ll prevent damage from road salts and de-icing chemicals.
- Pick a volatile organic compound-compliant (VOC-compliant) water repellent. VOC-compliant pertains to the substance, application, or system adhering to governmental regulations on volatile organic compounds or VOCs.
- Choose an eco-friendly sealer or water repellent and avoid harmful solvents.
6. Spray For Fast and Easy Work
When applying the sealers or water repellent, instead of rolling or brushing, it’s best to use spray sealer or water repellent on your concrete driveway. Using a roller and brush tends to cause under application of the product.
Spraying will help ensure that you apply enough water repellent to last for many years. Also, spraying is the easiest and fastest method to apply a water repellent. Make sure that the water repellent will perform long-term by saturating the surface.
Repairing your concrete driveway right the first time would take a lot of patience. You need to remove all accumulated dirt and stains by pressure washing. You have to patch cracks and marks, then wait for about a month to apply a sealer or a water repellent to make your driveway last longer. Hiring a reputable concrete contractor can help you repair major driveway problems and install new stamped concrete.