Concrete driveways provide a convenient place to park your vehicle, and they add to the aesthetic value of your home. However, if they get damaged by water, they can become unsightly and even dangerous as cracks and holes create tripping hazards. Here are some tips to help you protect your driveway from water damage.
1. Make Sure the Driveway Slopes Toward the Street
When pouring a driveway, it should always slope toward the street. That way if it rains, the water just runs down the driveway and toward the storm drain. If your driveway is not sloped correctly, the water will pool on it and potentially damage the concrete. A specialist may be able to help you slope the concrete after the fact.
2. Don't Let Water Pool Next to the Driveway
If water builds up in the grass on either side of your concrete driveway, that can also lead to damage and potential cracking. To avoid that, try to make sure that your lawn is flush with the level of your driveway. If it's markedly lower, water will be more likely to pool along the edges near the concrete slab.
Also, to reduce the amount of water in your driveway, take steps to improve drainage in your yard. That is a multifaceted process that involves everything from leveling your lawn correctly to ensuring proper drainage through French drains.
3. Use Drain Pipes
A lot of the water that falls on your driveway comes from rain that falls on the roof. To ensure that water doesn't sit on the concrete, make sure that you have downspouts connected to the guttering system on your roof. The spouts should lead away from the driveway, and ideally, they should not empty onto it. Overtime, that constant dripping can lead to damaged cement.
4. Don't Wash Your Car on the Driveway
If your driveway isn't sloped properly, you should try to keep water away from it. In particular, don't wash your car on your driveway. If you do wash your car or if it rains and you don't have the right slope for drainage, you may want to sweep the water off the driveway.
5. Repair Issues
Finally, if water damage occurs, try to address it by repairing the issue. If you see pockmarks due to water damage, fill them. If cracks appear, put joint sealer or cement patching material on them. That helps to prevent the damage from spreading.