In the past several years, concrete has become one of the most popular driveway materials on the market. Concrete is much better than asphalt, as it offers more versatility and options. But same as asphalt, concrete comes with its own set of problems and pitfalls.
On the one hand, concrete can add beauty and durability to your residential driveway. In addition to driveways, concrete can work on patios, parking lots, roads, walkways making it an adaptable and versatile option. The timeless look is also likely to appeal.
But there are several common concrete problems that you need to pay attention to. Most of the problems are because of poor installation, improper maintenance, but also weather conditions as well. The downside of concrete is that the material is not equipped to withstand the harsh British weather and rainfall.
And while concrete is a relatively easy material to manage and maintain, here are some common concrete problems that might occur over time:
As mentioned previously, most of the common concrete problems are due to improper installation techniques. However, discoloration can happen because of two things. The first is improper installation, but also because of stains from materials like car fluids, oil, and tire marks. All of these can lead to light or dark patches appearing on your concrete driveway.
The moment you notice discoloration, you need to act quickly and swiftly. If not, you risk the stain spreading across your entire slab of concrete. A popular method of maintenance and cleaning is using a stiff brush dipped in diluted vinegar to restore the appearance of concrete. If you are facing a severe case of discoloration, you might need to think about a stronger chemical, such as hydrochloric acid.
Some ways to avoid discoloration as one of the common concrete problems is to use concrete in good shape, cure the concrete uniformly over the entire surface, wait until water has evaporated to start finishing the concrete, avoid hard trowelling exterior concrete, or use liquid calcium. Alternatively, you can select a more multi-purpose material that provides a beautiful driveway, that’s fit for purpose for years to come.
Cracking is one of the worst common concrete problems. There are many reasons why concrete cracks, but overall, it’s mainly due to the weather. Concrete is just not equipped to withstand heavy rainfall.
Excess water leads to cracking. Cracks appear at the surface, and then work their way to the bottom of the slab in few months time. The problem is when cracks reach through to the subgrade. If this happens, you need to fully replace the concrete, and that can be pricey.
Small cracks in the concrete can be fixed by cleaning loose material out of the damaged area, and then filling the space with filler.