A well-paved driveway isn’t just a parking space or an entryway into your home. Driveways influence the first impressions of your guests and people who pass by your house. They add visual interest, function and value to any property. However, once they're installed, they are often overlooked when it comes to cleaning and maintenance.

No driveway paving material, especially concrete, is maintenance-free. Driveways are prone to dirt, grease and grime build-up which can be unsightly. Over time, driveways are also susceptible to cracking due to changes in temperature and moisture. If these cracks are allowed to develop further, the driveway will require costly repairs or even an overhaul to replace the damaged flooring.

If your driveway has suffered stains and cracks, here are ideas to extend your driveway's life and appeal well into the future.

Maintaining Different Driveways

  • Concrete - Concrete is a highly durable paving material that is relatively low maintenance. However, its high absorption properties increase the risk of corrosion when it is not taken care of properly. To maintain a concrete driveway, make sure you use a strong sealant to protect it from the elements.
  • Gravel - Gravel is an inexpensive material that is long-lasting. In order to maintain it properly, make sure that water is not pooling anywhere on it. Excessive water often results in potholes and gravel loss. Installing a drainage system for your driveway will be a necessary investment for this building material.  
  • Brick - Brick driveways are prone to weeds and shifts. The cracks in-between each brick are the source of damage for this type of driveway. To prevent damage and to keep it looking nice, regular maintenance work is required along with the application of sealant for the bricks.

Cleaning your driveway

  1. Stain removal - Common driveway spills, such as oil, gasoline, and grease, can stain even with a concrete sealer. Although these spills will not be absorbed into the concrete, they will cause unsightly discolouration when left alone. To prevent this, wipe them with a rag as soon as you see them.
  2. Soap and water - If you want to regularly clean your driveway, soap and water can do the trick. Put a few squirts of detergent in a large bucket of water. Dip a stiff scrub brush into the soapy water and scrub off the stains in circular motions. Start from the back of the drive and scrub your way toward the street. Rinse off the soapy water with your garden hose or splash it away.
  3. Chlorine bleach - This common household product not only removes stains from clothes, but they will also clean and brighten up your concrete driveway. Mix a solution of 1 part water to 1 part chlorine bleach. Put the mixture into a garden sprayer and spray it onto your driveway. Let the formula sit for 10 minutes before you start scrubbing with a stiff brush. Afterwards, rinse the formula off with clean water from your garden hose. Be mindful not to get the solution on plants to prevent any harm to them.
  4. Power washing - The high-pressure water of a power washer will effectively remove stains and clean your concrete driveway. However, they can be dangerous so it is important to use them with caution. Pointing the power washer hand at a person can cause injuries and holding the power washer in one spot for longer than ten seconds can damage the concrete. If you are hesitant to use a power washer on your own, get the help of professional cleaners.

Protecting Your Driveway

Even though concrete is a highly durable material, it is still susceptible to damage. Most residential driveways are ill-equipped to handle heavy vehicles and large equipment. By keeping heavy loads off of your driveway, you can help maintain its quality and structural integrity. Additionally, the edges of your driveway are the most vulnerable areas. They are prone to chipping so park your car away from these areas. This will allow you to lessen most expenses associated with repairs.

Repairing Your Driveway

Cracks and holes are common with wear and tear. When they appear, they should be patched up immediately to prevent them from getting bigger. Using a masonry chisel and a brush, remove loose materials from the crack or hole. Afterwards, apply crack filler and patching compound in the space. Once the filler has dried, seal the area with a concrete sealer to protect it from future damage; make sure everything is smooth to prevent tripping.

Resealing your driveway

No matter how old your driveway is, it's never too late to reseal and protect it from the elements. Driveway cracks result from age and weathering, especially if the driveway is unsealed. When water from rain seeps through the concrete or asphalt, it creates pools of water underneath that can lead to cracking. This seepage occurs because driveways are made of porous materials that readily absorb liquids such as water and oil. A sealer will close off the pores and prevent the liquids from sinking into the paving material.

Not only does sealing reduce cracking, but it also improves the driveway's appearance. Sealing keeps UV rays from causing the material to fade and protects it from stains. A concrete driveway can also have a rich colour and glossy sheen after sealing application, as there are sealers available in various gloss levels.

A Variety of Concrete Sealers for Your Driveway

At Form Direct, we offer a selection of concrete sealing products to suit your driveway’s needs. We also stock decorative sealers for outdoor areas such as patios and pool decks. Our concrete sealing products have large particles, providing a protective layer on the surface of the concrete.

All of our sealers are sourced from reputable brands such as Sika, Bostik and Avista. Whether it's for residential or commercial construction applications, our sealers will help maintain the quality of your concrete floors.  

For more information and enquiries, contact us on 1300 659 830.