The unforgiving Melbourne winter can expose your concrete driveway to harsh natural elements, which can crack and damage it. Do you know how to protect your concrete driveway this winter? Everlast Services has all the answers you’re looking for.
While concrete may be one of the strongest materials on earth, it isn’t indestructible. If your concrete driveway isn’t properly maintained, it may be prone to cracking and other forms of damage, especially during the winter months when it is exposed to extremely cold temperatures and harsh natural weather events, like storms, hail and floods. In particular, the combination of frost and moisture can be especially detrimental to your concrete driveways and paths.
But, if you take the necessary precautions, you can ensure that your concrete driveway comes out on the other side of winter as strong and good-looking as ever.
Here are our tips to protect your concrete driveway as Melbourne’s winter months approach.
Check for Cracks
During the summer months, cracks can often appear in concrete. You should inspect your concrete and detect these cracks before the temperature drops too dramatically. Sealing cracks and chips early can help to protect the rest of the concrete slab from being exposed to damage, as damage can quickly and easily spread.
Taking photos of any cracks and chips throughout this process will also help in following years when conducting the same check, as it will document areas of weakness in your concrete.
Thoroughly Clean Your Concrete
Before sealing or priming concrete, you need to ensure that it is completely clean and clear of and dirt or debris. Otherwise, debris could become trapped under the sealant, creating porosity and enabling moisture and frost to seep into the concrete.
The first step to clean your concrete is to give it a good sweep. This will get the majority of dirt and debris off your driveway. Next, if possible, use a pressure cleaners to get rid of any fine dirt and dust particles that have built-up over the dry summer months. Once your concrete has been stripped clean, it will be ready to be primed with concrete sealer.
When poured correctly, concrete should only need to be sealed every 10 years. However, if your concrete was incorrectly poured, is older than 10 years or has undergone damage, you should seal cracks before winter sets in. You can hire a professional, such as the team at Everlast Services, to do this for you, or seal it yourself using materials and tools that can be found at most hardware stores.
Be Wary of Ice
Ice and concrete don’t mix well. Not only can it cause your driveway to become slippery and dangerous, when moisture melts through concrete and freezes, it expands and causes cracks. As such, if you live in an area that’s prone to frost and ice, you should consider using ice-melt on your driveway. However, be careful that you choose ice-melt that is calcium-based, as other kinds can damage your concrete driveway even more.
Be Careful When Caring for Concrete
While concrete may be a tough material, if it has already sustained damage, it can be prone to further damage. Be careful that you don’t place any loads that are too heavy for what it was poured to withstand – such a trucks or heavy machinery – and don’t use spades or thick-bristled brooms around it. Additionally, keeping it clear of debris will help to ensure its integrity as a car wheel going over a rock can be enough to cause a crack.
Ensure Adequate Drainage
A key way to protect concrete in winter is to ensure that it has adequate drainage. Otherwise, water will just sit on the concrete, seeping into it and cause cracks and damage. If your current concrete driveway doesn’t have drainage, you should enlist the help of a qualified contractor. They will be able to help cut joints that direct excess water to an appropriate area.
Alternatively, a temporary DIY solution is to dig some trenches next to the concrete pavement. These trenches will help to drain excess water from the surface as quickly as possible.
If you need help preparing your concrete driveway for winter, would like to repair some damage or cracks, or are in need of an entirely new concrete driveway, then Everlast Services can help. With over 20 years experience, we can help ensure your concrete driveway looks good throughout winter and beyond.