So you bought a new home and now you need to maintain it! Part of maintaining your home is driveway maintenance.

Keeping your driveway free of cracks and stains not only adds to the curb appeal of your home, but also adds years of life to your driveway, which saves you money!

I sat down with our Vice President of Construction, Vic Gregory, to learn all about the ins and outs of driveway maintenance. Vic has been at M/I Homes’ Cincinnati division for 12 years, but his experience in construction extends beyond his time at M/I, so it’s safe to say he’s an expert in this field.

 

M/I Homes - Cincinnati Vice President of Construction

 

Here’s what Vic had to say about why it’s so important to re-seal your driveway:

“Sealing your driveway is important because it provides a layer of protection against freeze and thaw cycles. In addition, it helps repel surface stain damage.”

You can see how crucial driveway maintenance is especially before heading into the winter months.

Below you’ll find expert advice on new driveway maintenance and answers to all your burning questions about re-sealing your driveway—from cost to frequency to the best types of sealers.

How does winter weather affect your driveway?

Water is the main culprit for damage to concrete driveways because it penetrates and expands during freezing periods. Water expands 9% in volume when it freezes, creating a force that is strong enough to break concrete and cause flakes, pits, and cracks. Sealing concrete limits the amount of water that the surface absorbs.

Winter salts also cause damage to a driveway, as they penetrate the surface of concrete and steel reinforcement inside the material. Salt on the driveway also aids in water absorption, leading to cracks.

What other kinds of factors can cause damage to your driveway?

Your driveway is subjected to many things that can leave stains on the driveway surface. Leaves, fertilizer, oil, and tire marks are just a few examples of this. The right sealer will keep these items from penetrating the surface of the concrete and leaving stains.

How often do you re-seal a driveway?

Vic recommends that you use a concrete sealer after 30 days of air-drying, and then repeat annually (or per manufacturer’s instructions) to help prevent cracking and scaling.

Plan to apply the sealer when your driveway is dry and the air temperature is above 70 degrees.

Home Exterior

What are some signs that your driveway needs re-sealed?

We discovered earlier in this blog that freeze and thaw damage can cause cracks, flaking, or pitting on your driveway that is caused by water penetrating the surface of the concrete and expanding as it freezes.

A good sealer will keep the water from penetrating the concrete. Water will bead on the surface if the sealer is doing its job. When this no longer happens, it is time for some new driveway maintenance.

Pro tip: High-traffic areas can expect to be re-sealed more frequently—something to keep in mind for homeowners who regularly host guests (and their vehicles)!

Are there different types of sealers?

There are two main types of concrete sealers: those forming a film on the surface of your concrete, giving it a wet look, and those designed to penetrate the concrete, leaving it looking dry, yet water repellent. Each has advantages and disadvantages.

Which type of sealers work best?

According to Vic, penetrating sealers are most effective when sealing driveways. A good quality sealer will enhance and protect your driveway. When sealed properly, it can extend the life of your concrete driveway. You should always refer to the sealer container when applying the sealer applications.

What should you use to fill concrete cracks?

To fill cracks in your driveway, Vic suggests a polyurethane concrete caulk such as Europlastic.

How much does it cost to re-seal a driveway?

To seal a concrete driveway, you don’t have to spend a lot of money or invest too much time. It is an easy and inexpensive way to keep the area around your home looking its best. A quality concrete sealer can add years to your driveway for little cost.

The costs of sealing a concrete driveway vary depending on whether you plan to hire a contractor or DIY, but most sealers nowadays are very DIY friendly!

Home Exterior

Re-sealing your driveway is easier than ever with these driveway maintenance tips. Follow this step-by-step guide on cleaning and resealing your driveway and make sure to become familiar with everything there is to know about power washing before you start.

Now you know how important it is to reseal your driveway before cold weather settles in. Next up, make sure you winterize your home.



Author

Laura
Laura Kornaker

Author

As the Internet Sales Manager in Cincinnati, Laura's goal is to make your new home investment a smooth and easy process. With her 15+ years' experience in the new home building business, she’ll help you navigate through the best scenarios and opportunities. Laura has lived in Cincinnati for over 20 years and knows all of the best schools, shopping, restaurants, and recreation. She’ll help you find the perfect location and home. She’ll even get you started on financing! Whether you are relocating or local, moving up or downsizing, Laura is the expert to get started with!