When fresh concrete is poured, it has a bright, clean look that you may love. Over time, concrete can fade to a grayish hue, and it may even become embedded with visible dirt or develop mildew growth. Despite the material’s strength and durability, staining, cracks and other issues are problematic. As common as these issues are with concrete, most people believe that this material requires little or no maintenance. If you take a few steps to maintain your concrete this summer, you can improve its appearance and potentially extend its life.
Pressure Wash the Concrete
Concrete should be pressure washed at least once each year, and the perfect season to tackle this chore is the summer. Pressure washing the concrete can remove any embedded grime, growth and even some stains. The result of pressure washing concrete is often a like-new appearance.
Many concrete surfaces will develop hairline cracks. While these are not structurally significant, they detract from aesthetics. Some cracks will get larger over time. When cracks are larger and when the sections of concrete are not level, repair work may be required. These issues may create safety issues in some cases, so repair work should be completed as soon as possible. Significant concrete repairs should be completed by a professional to ensure that the structural integrity of the surface remains intact. In addition, some major repairs require the use of skilled techniques and specialized equipment. Minor repairs for hairline fractures may be completed as a do-it-yourself project.
Stain or Seal the Surface
You may view staining or sealing concrete as an optional, aesthetic step. However, when concrete is stained or sealed, UV-related damage can be prevented. Many superficial cracks and fissures and even some staining may be prevented. You can stain or seal the concrete on your own as a do-it-yourself project, or you can hire a professional to do the work for you. Stain is available in almost any color imaginable, and you can even use decorative techniques to add beauty to the concrete while also protecting it from damage.
Regardless of the age of your property’s concrete surfaces and their general condition right now, these maintenance steps will help you to keep your home’s exterior looking great. They can extend the longevity of your concrete, and they may even improve safety on your property in some ways. While many concrete maintenance steps can be completed by a homeowner, remember that help is available when needed.