If you have just had a new concrete driveway installed on your property, you will no doubt want to keep it in top condition. However, despite the fact that concrete is a very strong substance, it can be severely damaged if you do not take steps to protect it. Below is a guide to some common causes of concrete damage and things you can do to prevent them.
Freeze and Thaw Damage
When water turns to ice, it expands in volume. The expansion may seem gradual and gentle, but its impact on your concrete driveway is anything but these things. If water is allowed to gather in cracks between different sections of your concrete driveway or in the depression created by a damaged surface, it can cause serious damage when it expands.
As the water expands, it exerts a force on the concrete and pushes it apart. When the temperature rises again, and the water melts, the concrete moves back into its original position. If this process occurs repeatedly, the concrete surface will eventually fail. You can prevent this type of damage by ensuring that there are no cracks or depressions in the concrete surface where water can collect. If you spot any cracks or depressions, you should ask a concrete contractor to repair them for you.
During the winter months, you may scatter salt on your driveway to prevent and remove formations of ice. Icy driveways can present a real hazard as they can cause you to trip and fall. Ice may also pose a hazard to any vehicles which use the driveway. While salt is great at melting ice, it is also very good at damaging concrete surfaces. When salt comes into contact with concrete, chemical reactions can occur which attack the integrity of the surface. To prevent this problem, you should keep salt use to a minimum and ensure that any salt residue is washed from your drive once the freezing temperatures have passed.
The intense heat of the Australian summer can cause concrete to expand. If the concrete in your drive does not have expansion joints fitted, the forces created as the concrete expands and presses up against other concrete tiles or surrounding walls can cause it to crack. To prevent this problem, a concrete contractor will be able to fit rubber expansion joints between the sections of your concrete driveway to absorb any expansion forces.
If you would like further advice, you should contact a concrete contractor today.