How I Repaired My Concrete Driveway

Two tips for sprucing up an old concrete driveway

Concrete is a robust material which can withstand many years of foot traffic and exposure to the elements. However, it will eventually start to look a bit worse for wear. If this is the case for your old concrete driveway, here are some ways that you can spruce it up.

Re-seal the concrete joints

Many concrete driveways are made up of slabs. The material that fills in the joints between these slabs is called a sealant.  Sealant is used for both aesthetic and practical reasons; it can enhance the appearance of a driveway, and can also serve as a physical barrier, which prevents rainwater from seeping into the soil underneath the concrete slabs and causing drainage and stability issues. Additionally, it can keep dirt and grime out of the spaces in between the slabs.

Sealant does not last forever and usually needs to be replaced every couple of years. Failing to do this will almost certainly leave your driveway looking neglected and unclean. As such, if you want to improve the appearance of this part of your property, it's worth hiring a tradesperson to re-seal your driveway. Ideally, it's best to find a concrete contractor who specialises in concrete joint sealing, as they will have the skill and experience required to do the job to a high standard.

Remove oil stains

The quickest way to give a concrete driveway a new lease of life is to remove any stains that have developed on it. Most driveway stains are caused by oil leaking from the vehicles that are parked on it. Fortunately, this type of mark is usually relatively easy to remove. In most cases, dabbing the stain with a damp cloth that's been dipped in a surfactant-based detergent (such as dish-washing liquid) and then giving it a rinse with some clean water is all that's needed to make the stain disappear.

However, if the stain has been there for a long time (i.e. a few years), you may need to use a stronger product, designed specifically for concrete stains. These specialist cleaners are usually alkaline based and need to be applied undiluted, left on for several minutes and then rinsed off with a hose. Take precautions when using this type of substance, as it may cause irritation or burns if it gets in contact with your skin or eyes. Thick rubber gloves and a pair of safety goggles should keep you safe during the cleaning process.