Driveways may not be the most exciting feature of the home but they are still an important functional surface. They also contribute significantly, for better or for worse, to the overall street appeal of your home. If your old concrete driveway is looking shabby and unsightly, then you may be considering having it replaced with a fresh new surface.
Before you rush out and book a contractor to rip out your old concrete driveway, it's wise to investigate the possibility of having it repaired and resurfaced instead. It's surprising how even the most cracked, crumbling and ugly concrete driveway can be given a whole new lease on life by a professional concrete contractor.
Here are the three most common steps that your contractor will take to restore the look and function of your old concrete driveway.
1. Crack repair
As concrete ages, it can become cracked. This is generally caused by movement of the ground beneath the concrete, exposure to water and a general breakdown of the structure. Fortunately, most cracks can be effectively repaired by injecting a resin into the fissures.
The resin fills the cracks, spreading right down to where the cracks stop. This binds the concrete back into a single, solid and strong mass. Crack repair can extend the life of concrete by many decades.
Over time, the surface of concrete can become chipped, pitted scratched and worn from constant use and exposure to the elements. Driveways, in particular, are likely to have surface damage due to the heavy load that vehicles place on them. Driveways are also commonly stained from car oil and tire rubber.
Your concrete contractor will use a specialised grinder to strip off the top layer of concrete. This exposes the unblemished layers beneath and creates a fresh, even and smooth new surface for your old concrete driveway.
Raw concrete isn't a particularly pleasing aesthetic and the resurfacing process can make it more porous and prone to staining. Therefore, the next and final step is to seal the fresh surface of the concrete. Sealing makes it look much more attractive and it also provides a solid barrier that prevents stains, water absorption and scratching.
Generally, a polyurethane-based sealant is used for driveways. This is an effective sealant that isn't as slippery and glossy as the epoxy-based resins that are used for interior concrete sealing. If you want to glam your driveway up a bit, a colourant can be added to the sealant before application, giving you an attractive and unique look.
For more information or assistance, contact a local expert in concrete repair.