A stamped concrete driveway should be sealed on a periodic basis in order to help it maintain its seal. The period in which the stamped concrete driveway should be sealed should be no less than once every 2 or 3 years, depending on the type of climate that the stamped concrete driveway is exposed to as well as the wear and tear that the concrete experiences.
What is a Stamped Concrete Driveway?
A stamped concrete driveway is one that has a design or pattern stamped within it. This design is made into the concrete during the time the concrete is first poured. Once the concrete hardens the design or pattern that was stamped into the driveway becomes permanent. The reason that a homeowner may decide to stamp their concrete driveway is to add additional style or curb appeal to the home as well as adding a distinctive feature that makes it different from a neighbor’s driveway.
Conditions that Warrant Sealing Your Stamped Concrete Driveway
Over time foot traffic, driving over the stamped pattern with your car and the weather can cause the stamped concrete driveway to deteriorate. Following a planned schedule of applying a sealer and color agents in the case of a colored stamp will help you maintain the desired look for your stamped concrete driveway.
Quite likely one of the reasons you invested in having a concrete driveway installed at your home was your expectation a concrete driveway would need very little maintenance and upkeep.
While in general that’s true and a concrete driveway does need substantially less maintenance then an asphalt drive, there is still a certain amount of maintenance necessary even with a concrete driveway. Here’s some tips on how to maintain your concrete driveway.
Clean your driveway regularly
- Actually how often you need to clean your driveway will depend on how much traffic it gets as well as the amount of pollutants in the air. You can hire a professional concrete cleaning company to power wash your drive, but for most of us, simply power washing your drive with a home pressure washer every couple of months will be enough to keep it clean
Reseal when necessary
- Concrete sealers help preserve and protect the surface of your driveway by preventing water from getting into the porous surface and help delay the effects of weathering. However, traffic and time will eventually wear out even the best sealer so you will need to reseal the surface to maintain that protection. A good rule of thumb is to reseal every three to five years, but you may need to reseal more often if your driveway gets a lot of use.
Keep spills off the surface
- Avoid doing things like changing the oil in your vehicle on your driveway since spilled oil can create an ugly stain. If you do see any spills or drips clean get most of it off the surface with an absorbent product such as kitty litter, sawdust or cornmeal. After you soak up most of the spill, get rid of any residual marks by scrubbing with soap and water or one of a number of commercial concrete cleaners available from home or hardware stores.
Avoid salt and deicing chemicals
- Chemical deicers and salt are very hard on any grass and gardens growing beside your driveway but perhaps worse, will eat into the surface of your concrete and start it deteriorating. Spreading sand on icy patches to provide traction during the winter is a better option and you can simply sweep it up in the spring.
Keep sharp objects off your driveway
- Shovels with metal edges or metal ice chippers will damage the surface of your drive,so it’s best to not use them. Plastic snow shovels won’t nick the surface and are a better choice for clearing snow from your driveway. Also, if you have a snow blower, be sure to raise the blades high enough to avoid scraping your driveway surface.
Repair any small cracks when you first notice them
- Small cracks can occur due to natural settling or shifting of the ground. If they’re left unrepaired, annual freezing and melting cycles will enlarge these cracks making them big enough for weeds to take root and in just a few years, you may need to resurface your entire driveway. Concrete patching products to repair small cracks are available at most home stores.