Although concrete is one of the most durable construction products and will endure the harshest elements of our climate. Other wearing surfaces such as wood decks and floors often have protective products applied (i.e. varnishes and sealers) to extend their service life and durability while facilitating easier maintenance. To provide the same protection to your concrete driveway, it is recommended that it be treated with a protective sealer. By following the guidelines outlined on this page, your driveway will be durable and serviceable for many years to come.
Care and Maintenance
Although concrete is an extremely durable product, the following care and maintenance guidelines will add to the value of your investment:
- Do not apply deicing chemicals for snow and ice removal during the winter. To provide traction, sand is recommended
- Never apply deicers containing ammonium sulfate or ammonium nitrate. These products may be packaged and sold as deicers, but aggresively attack and deteriorate concrete surfaces
- For stain removal, do not use harsh acids. Use a product specifically designed for the stain in question and for use on concrete
- Keep concrete clear of snow and ice at all times
Once your driveway is cured and given an opportunity to air dry (approximately 1 month), it is now ready to be sealed. A protective sealer minimizes moisture and deicing salt penetration into the surface of the concrete. Concrete surfaces must be sealed when ambient temperatures are favorable and certainly before the onset of winter. Depending on the type of sealer, regular maintenance may be required. Contact our sales department for sealing products available in your area.
Prior to applying a protective sealer, your driveway must be cured to attain the strength and durability potential of the concrete. Curing will maintain the concrete at satisfactory moisture and temperature conditions to allow hydration to continue. Curing should start immediatley following placement and extend a minimum of 7 days. Any one of the following methods can be used:
- Spray on curing compound (according ASTM C309)
- Polyethylene cover
- Seven day continuous water cure
- Saturated burlap with polyethylene cover
Of the methods mentioned, the spray on curing compound provides the most cost effective approach towards curing but continuous water or saturated burlap is the best practice.