One of the best attributes of concrete is how little maintenance and routine care it will need over its lifetime but keep in mind nothing is truly maintenance-free. Here are some tips for preserving the life and appearance of your investment.
Clean and reapply sealer as needed
Cleaning your concrete on occasion and keeping it sealed are the best measures you can take to keep it looking its best. How often you clean and reseal will depend on the weather conditions the concrete is exposed to and the amount of vehicle traffic it receives. Generally, you should reseal a concrete driveway every 2-3 years, or when the finish begins to show wear. Use a high grade, non-yellowing, commercial sealer.
Remove stains immediately
While a sealer will help to protect concrete from stain absorption, it's still a good idea to remove oil, gasoline, grease and other spills as soon as possible. If the concrete does discolor, pressure washing and certain cleaning chemicals will remove most stains. A great absorber is kitty litter. Cover the area with the spill as soon as possible, let the kitty litter absorb much of the spill and sweep up. Repeat if needed.
DO NOT use deicing chemicals
Using deicers on your concrete in the winter can cause surface damage—primarily scaling and spalling—by forcing the thawing and refreezing of moisture. Products containing ammonium nitrates and ammonium sulphates are especially harmful because they will actually attack the concrete chemically. Rock salt (sodium chloride) or calcium chloride will do less damage, but they can harm vegetation and corrode metal. Under no circumstances should you use any deicers the first winter after installation since new concrete is more susceptible to the harmful effects of salt. As an alternative, use sand for traction.