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SPECIAL REPORT: MAINTAINING CONCRETE DRIVEWAYS AND SIDEWALKS

MAINTENANCE
Concrete driveways are a popular type of driveway in Colorado. If properly installed and maintained, they will often last 30-40 years or more. To obtain the maximum serviceable life of your concrete driveway, water should be prevented from entering the cracks to keep the soil under the driveway as dry as possible. This will prevent freezing or swelling of the expansive soils.

All cracks, control joints, and expansion joints should be sealed to prevent moisture entry. Self Leveling Concrete Sealants are an excellent caulk for this purpose. They can be found at Home Depoit and Lowes. Watch YouTube video

CRACKED PATIOS
To improve the appearance of cracked patios, the cracks and differential settlement can be smoothed with a floor leveling or patching cement. The patio can then be covered with indoor/outdoor carpeting. This will cost substantially less than replacing the concrete. There are also epoxy aggregate coatings that can be installed over spalled and cracked concrete by professionals specializing in this type of concrete treatment. These coatings are very attractive and typically cost slightly less than replacing the concrete. These aggregate coatings should be re-coated with epoxy every 3-5 years.

SURFACE SPALLING
Often the surface of concrete will spall or erode away. Usually this doesn't affect the utility of the driveway, only the aesthetics. This condition is generally caused by either too much water added to the cement when it was finished or the cement being poured without the recommended 6% air entraining admixture.
Surface spalling is aggravated by using salt or calcium chloride to melt ice on the driveway. If you experience ice buildups on your driveway, salt and calcium chloride should not be used. You could try some kitty litter to provide traction on those icy areas.

CROWNED DRIVEWAYS
Many Colorado driveways are crowned from the expansive soils. If your driveway becomes excessively crowned and replacement is indicated, you might consider replacing it with a flexible asphalt that will accommodate any potential future movement of the soil. The average replacement cost for concrete driveways is $4.00 - $6.00 a square foot. Resurfacing concrete driveways with asphalt is not recommended as the concrete cracks will usually telegraph through the asphalt topping.


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