Spring is here, and you’ve got gardening and long walks with the dog to look forward to. But chances are that your concrete driveway took some abuse from winter’s temperature swings, and what is a small issue now can turn into a big, expensive problem if you let it go for too long. Now is the perfect time to nip any damage in the bud and help your driveway look beautiful for years.
Step 1: Clean
The first step for finding out your driveway’s condition is to get it good and clean. Sweep away any leftover winter detritus such as leaves and branches, so you can get a good look at your driveway’s surface.
Now, check your driveway’s surface for any growths. Green algae or mold and mildew can make the surface slippery and dangerous to walk on. Black algae can make your driveway look dirty and ruin its appearance. Moss can damage the surface of the concrete and even worsen cracking and crumbling, and lichen can cause permanent pitting on the surface of some driveways.
If you see any of these growths on your concrete driveway, apply a gentle, scrub-free product such as Wet & Forget Outdoor to safely eliminate the problem. Wet & Forget Outdoor’s non-caustic formula wipes out growths and keeps them away for a year or more in most cases without damaging your concrete driveway’s surface or compromising the protective seal coat, like harsh chemicals or pressure washing can do.
Step 2: Inspect
Now that you have an unimpeded view of your driveway’s surface, there are some important things to check for to maintain your driveway’s health.
First, examine your driveway’s surface just after it has rained. Look for any areas where water is pooling; these areas will be prone to water damage, and leveling them out so that they drain properly will prevent cracking and crumbling down the line.
Now, look for any cracks in your driveway or any areas of crumbling concrete or weed encroachment. Any of these issues will progress into more severe damage if you don’t address them right away.
Step 3: Repair
Now that you’ve located any problem areas, it’s time to repair them. To repair cracks, wait for a cool, dry day. Clean the area and remove any chunks of concrete. Pull any weeds that have popped up in cracks or along your driveway’s border. For hairline cracks, apply concrete paint over the crack. For larger cracks, apply a crack sealer such as vinyl concrete patch, grout, or epoxy concrete patch. Make sure to allow at least 24 hours’ drying time before the chance of rain for the sealer to set.
Step 4: Reseal
Now that you’ve repaired any driveway issues, it’s time to protect your driveway. Concrete experts recommend re-sealing your concrete every 5 years or so, depending on the climate where you live. Buy a sealer that is specially made for concrete driveways and follow the instructions. If you used Wet & Forget Outdoor to eliminate growths on your driveway, it’s safe to re-seal your driveway as soon as the moss, algae, lichen, or mold and mildew have disappeared.
Take good care of your concrete driveway, and it will be an asset to your home for years to come!