You might think that your concrete driveway is nearly indestructible once it’s been installed and then properly sealed. While it is true that concrete driveways are incredibly durable and will last a long time under most conditions and with proper care, even a typical storm can cause damage and problems to occur with a concrete driveway that can make maintenance or repairs necessary. Much like tree roots can cause both small and large issues for your driveway, depending on the type of damage, storms can do the same.
This post will break down some of the potential concerns and damage that storms can cause to your concrete driveway.
Wind and Debris Damage
Strong winds by themselves may not seem like much. But over time, they can erode the surface of your driveway. Even though driveways are typically sealed, no seal lasts forever, and prolonged heavy winds will wear down the surface of your driveway, leaving it rough and abrasive. Over a long enough period of time, this can make your driveway uneven and in need of resurfacing to get it back to that original smoothness.
Additionally, high winds can toss around dirt, sand, and chunks of debris. This type of power can chip and crack your driveway and, depending on the type and size of debris, can cause damage and degrade the surface of your driveway. While an individual storm may not cause much of an issue, over time, this can become a recurring problem.
One way to keep your driveway in shape and prevent wind and debris from damaging it is to make sure your sealant is applied regularly and keeping the area around your driveway clean of dirt, sand, leaves, and other debris. This will cut down on the number of damage winds can do and what they can throw at your driveway.
Rain and Water Damage
Rain by itself isn’t that bad of a problem for concrete, but over time, heavy rain can seep into the concrete and cause it to expand. Worse yet, hard ice and hail can damage and wear down the surface of your driveway. Water can easily erode concrete that has been in place for a while and make the surface less smooth and make it lose its shine and color.
The biggest problem, however, is that water damage can make chips and cracks a severe issue. Water can eat away at chipped concrete and make a small chip into a major chunk of damaged concrete. The worst culprit is water that gets into cracks in the concrete. Water can not only worsen cracks and cause them to widen, but it can erode the soil underneath the driveway and cause cracks to become complete breaks and sunken spots in your driveway.
The best way to prevent this is by sealing your driveway and repairing any chips or cracks as soon as possible. That way, you prevent rain from making those problems worse and potentially ruining your driveway entirely. In this case, a little routine maintenance can keep you from a complete driveway replacement.
One last thing to note about your driveway is that concrete is somewhat susceptible to cold temperatures. If your driveway frequently freezes over or gets hit with ice and snow, you’ll want to take extra care of it and possibly seal it more often to protect it from wear and tear.
Built-up moisture can break down the integrity of concrete and can cause cracks which lead to further damage. That is why sealing your concrete is important. The sealant protects it from becoming porous and absorbing water and moisture. Most concrete driveways only need sealant every few years or so. However, if you see that you are in an area that gets a lot of rain or snow, then you may want to seal more frequently just as an added layer of protection.
Apart from that, a concrete driveway normally has a long lifespan and is a great investment over traditional asphalt.
Well, that’s it. Our guide to storm damage and your concrete driveway. Hopefully, this has given you some tips and signs to look out for to protect your driveway over the long term. A little bit of preventative maintenance can save you a fortune in driveway repairs.