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A beautiful concrete driveway is a great addition to any home that is sure to increase curb appeal and value. But, having a concrete driveway installed isn’t the end of this home feature. Taking good care of your concrete driveway will not only enhance the aesthetics of your home and increase your property’s value, but also extend the life expectancy of your concrete driveway. If you have been overlooking your driveway, it is not too late to pay a little attention to it and help bring back its former beauty. 

There are multiple ways to enhance the look of your existing concrete driveway, here are a few tactics that are worth giving a chance.

1. Etching

Etching is one of the most common techniques of improving the look of a concrete driveway. This method involves using specialized tools to etch a permanent design, pattern, or inscription into your driveway’s facade. The design or pattern can be a logo, image, or letters. To make the etching stand out, it can be stained to add a more dramatic look.

2. Staining

Staining your concrete driveway helps to cover the otherwise boring gray colour of natural concrete and provides a pop of colour to your home’s exterior. Stain allows dyes to soak into the driveway to give the driveway a unique finished look that is attractive. You can choose between a rainbow of water-based and earth-toned acid stains. This is the perfect option if your driveway previously had blemishes, such as oil stains and cracks. Staining is also effective for a coated driveway.

3. Sealing

Sealing your driveway may be the easiest way to bring it back to its former glory. Concrete sealant can be purchased at most home renovation stores and some paint stores. There is some preparation needed before you can begin, including cleaning your driveway of dirt and debris as well as removing stains and grease spots. Once ready, you can apply a thin coat of sealer using a sprayer or roller. This will not only bring out your driveways original colour, it will help protect it against future stains and wear. 

4. Intertwined Pavers

Intertwined paving stones can add a new aesthetic look and offer structural functionality to your driveway. Paving stones can be interlocked to create a pattern and make a concrete driveway look more beautiful. With pavers, you can fix a buckling or cracked driveway at once without pouring new concrete. Cut a boarder around the edge of your driveway or in the center of your existing driveway for the pavers to be installed. 

5. Resurfacing

Using a polymer-based cement resurfacer you can bring back to life your old, cracked and weathered concrete driveway. All that is needed is a thin layer of this concrete dressing to make your existing driveway shine. This process is a fairly inexpensive option, but does require some moderate DIY skills.

The techniques mentioned above are just some of the ways to make your concrete driveway look great again. If you are unsure where to begin, contact an experienced concrete contractor to help you fix and transform your concrete driveway into a more appealing, functional, and valuable asset.

5 benefits of a concrete driveway

If you are looking for one way to improve your outdoor curb appeal, a concrete driveway is one of the ideas that will come to mind. A concrete driveway improves and updates the exterior of a house. Here are 5 benefits of a concrete driveway:

1. Enhanced Exterior Aesthetics

Concrete driveways come in different designs, which can be tailored to meet the overall home curb appeal. A concrete driveway unarguably enhances the aesthetics of the outdoor area.

2. Increased Functionality

A concrete driveway redefines the home’s landscape, adding more usefulness and strength to the driveway. The driveway becomes more functional, strong, and durable. There will undoubtedly be long-term effects of functionality offered by the concreted area for vehicles. The additional functionality increases the overall value of the house.

3. Increased Property Value

If you are planning to sell your home, one of the ways to raise the value of the property is to construct a concrete driveway. This will increase the value of the home significantly. Many potential homebuyers love properties that are properly landscaped and have a concrete driveway.

4. Low Maintenance

It is good to know that a concrete driveway is easy and affordable to maintain. Made up of concrete, you can expect a concrete driveway to have the capacity to withstand the harsh weather without its structural integrity being jeopardized.

5. Customizable

Concrete driveways can be customized to reflect the personality of the owner, when installed in a commercial setup, a concrete driveway can be customized to promote the company’s brand. The versatility of concrete driveways makes this benefit crucial to the property’s curb appeal.

What is the life expectancy of a concrete driveway?

The impact of a concrete driveway on the overall curb appeal of a house cannot be overemphasized. From visual impact to functional impact, a concrete driveway provides a hard surface for vehicles to move on and creates a lasting effect on the home’s exterior functionality. Besides, the aesthetics of the entire home also gets improved by a concrete driveway.

Life Expectancy of a Concrete Driveway

A concrete driveway is strong and durable, and it is expected to last for a long time. However, regardless of its strength, it has a life expectancy. This is because it is exposed to the outdoor harsh weather conditions and some other factors. Meanwhile, if you maintain your concrete driveway properly and pay attention to signs of wear and tear, you can fix them before little problems become bigger and cause extensive damage to the concrete driveway.

Usually, the life expectancy of a concrete driveway is from 25 to 30 years. However, life expectancy is subject to proper care. Regardless of the strength or good installation process of a concrete driveway, poor maintenance can affect its durability and damage it years before its time. If you pay attention to your concrete driveway and get damages fixed early enough, the concrete driveway can reach its full life expectancy and last much longer than estimated. A well-maintained concrete driveway can last for up to 40 years and above.

Common Causes of Damage to Concrete Driveway

The following factors play significant roles in reducing the structural integrity of concrete driveways and damaging them:

  1. Harsh weather
  2. UV exposure
  3. Flooding
  4. Mechanical damage
  5. Grass growth in-between the concrete driveways

Signs of Damage to Concrete Driveways

The following are common signs of damage to a concrete driveway:

  1. Potholes
  2. Chipping, especially the edges
  3. Stress cracks
  4. Grass growth

Common Maintenance Tips 

Follow the tips below to maintain your concrete driveway and make it last longer:

  1. Carry out regular cleaning and sealing of cracks or holes on the concrete driveway.
  2. Remove stains on the concrete driveway instantly. Do not let stains soak into the driveway.
  3. Never apply chemicals  capable of causing the concrete to etch on the concrete driveway.
  4. Do not let heavy vehicles move on the concrete driveway.

How do I keep my concrete driveway from cracking?

A concrete driveway is one of the home features that enhance both aesthetics and functionalities of a home. However, cracked concrete is a dent in the investment made into the concrete driveway because cracks will allow water to leak into the soil beneath and destabilize it, causing aggravated problems.

However, learning how to keep your concrete driveway from cracking will enhance its aesthetics, functionality, and durability. Meanwhile, it should be mentioned that preventing a concrete driveway from cracking is best done during installation while little or nothing can be done later to keep it from cracking. Here are the tips to keep your concrete driveway from cracking:

1. Let it cure properly

The best way to keep a concrete driveway from cracking is to allow it to cure properly. Let the concrete dry over time without losing too much moisture. It takes concrete up to 28 days to cure completely. The cement in the concrete needs water or moisture to reach its full strength and be crack-free. As a result, you should spray water on the installed driveway a few times each day for the first week. However, if the weather is very hot and dry, you have to spray water more often.

2. Install control joints

Concrete shrinks over time due to temperature changes and moisture or water gets used up during this time. The concrete can later crack if the soil beneath moves. However, you can prevent this likely issue if you add control joints to the concrete driveway. Look out for the likely weak spots in the slab and cut it down to about a quarter of its depth to assume and direct future cracks.

You can install control joints to the concrete driveway when the concrete is still wet by using a concrete grooving tool or inserting joint strips made of flexible wood fibres when pouring the concrete. This will protect the concrete against cracking when it eventually dries.

3. Compact the base

Another way to keep a concrete driveway from cracking is to compact the ground, which will be the base for the concrete driveway. If the base is not compacted properly, the soil will settle over time and create a void under the slab, resulting in cracking. Meanwhile, when the base is properly compacted and processed before pouring the concrete, there will not be any reason for cracking later.

4. Mix the right amount of water

When there is no adequate amount of water in the concrete mix, the concrete will be dry and make the concrete too weak. Inadequate water can reduce the concrete’s strength by almost 40 percent. Also, remember to spray water on the concrete after installation.