First impressions of your property often start with the driveway. Aside from the front door, the driveway is the most dominant visual of your property. Indeed, caring for your driveway’s appearance is an important chore as years of wear show on the concrete. Explore how you can easily fix up your driveway for a fresh aesthetic and improved property value.
Reflecting Your Character
Initially, consider how your driveway’s appearance reflects your character. For example, some families use the garage as a storage area. Ultimately, they must park in the driveway or on the street. If their driveway has structural damage, everyone might exclusively park on the street, too.
Alternatively, other families take pride in their property’s curb appeal and neighborhood reputation. These individuals keep their two-car garage open for both cars every day. Also, the driveway looks neat without any oil stains or cracks marring the aesthetic. If it snows, the family shovels the driveway as necessary.
Ideally, you want this clean look for your driveway year-round. Truthfully, it takes more than just shoveling and sweeping the driveway to keep up appearances. Repairing it as needed is a critical step for any property owner.
Repairing the Driveway for a New Look
If your driveway is showing its age, resealing it is a viable option for DIYers. First, sweep or use a blower to remove any debris from the surface. Walk across the driveway, and pinpoint any areas that require repair.
For damages smaller than 1/2 inch, use concrete filler to repair the area. Alternatively, use concrete patches for larger damages. Depending on the products used for the damages, allow them to cure as directed on the packaging.
Next, take a close look at the weather forecast. Ideally, you need around 48 hours of dry conditions to apply and cure the sealant. It’s best to wait after a rainstorm, for example, for the best results on this project.
Again, sweep or use a blower on the driveway so that you eliminate any leftover residue from filling in the cracks. Also, prepare the sealant in a bucket. Gather old paintbrushes and a squeegee for the application process.
Before pouring the mixture onto the concrete, start with the driveway’s top edge. Because this edge usually meets up at a garage or other structure, use the paintbrushes to neatly apply the sealant a few inches into the driveway’s length.
With the sealant edge in place, carefully pour the sealant in a horizontal direction across the driveway. Then, use the squeegee to smooth out the mixture. Repeat this pouring and smoothing process until you reach the end of the driveway. Finally, allow the sealant to cure completely before walking or driving on it.
Protecting Your Investment
Your driveway’s health is just as important as caring for your roof, siding or foundation. Follow these tips to maintain an attractive and functional driveway.
a. Consider Parking Loads
Although concrete is incredibly strong, it has its weight limits. Ideally, only park standard cars, trucks and SUVs in the driveway. Avoid parking heavy-duty construction vehicles or RVs on the concrete. Over time, the driveway will break down because of these heavy loads.
b. Keep it Clean
As the simplest guideline of all, sweep and pressure wash your driveway as needed. Essentially, keeping debris and stains off the concrete can prolong its lifespan.
c. Shovel Snow With Plastic Tools
For snowy areas, choose a plastic shovel over a metal version to protect your driveway. Ultimately, metal scrapes and breaks down the concrete as you move the snow several times during the season.
d. Choose Tree Species With Care
Avoid potential concrete problems by choosing trees without extensive root systems. Certain tree species, such as oak, grow roots at rapid speed. Indeed, they will grow under concrete and lift it over time. To protect the concrete from any root damage, simply plant the trees at least 10 feet away.
e. Avoid Snow Tires
If you commute annually in the snow, your vehicle might have snow tires with sharp studs. Preferably, park this vehicle on the street. By rolling these tires across the driveway, tiny puncture holes appear in the concrete. As temperatures fluctuate, the concrete can crack and flake away from these damaged areas.
By filling cracks and sealing the surface, your driveway can look like a freshly poured project. As the seasons pass, the concrete can remain strong with minimal care. As a result, your home has a positive first impression as guests or potential buyers pull up to the door.
Written by Taylor McKnight, Author for BriteLine Company