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using concrete to create an outdoor living space

Do you want an area outside of your home where you can entertain guests? Maybe, you just want a patio where your family can gather for an outdoor dinner on a warm summer's night. If so, it is quite possible that you could have a concrete patio installed for less money than you might think. You can learn all about how concrete can be used for many of the elements of your patio. Concrete is easy to maintain and can last many, many years, so it is a great material to use in such a way. Visit my website to see how many things I have made out of concrete for my patio and learn the estimated cost of each item.

using concrete to create an outdoor living space

Walkways and Driveways: 4 Maintenance Tips for Ready-Mix Concrete

by Eugene Mitchell

Concrete, or more specifically ready-mix concrete, is a common material for driveways and walkways. While it works well and is usually quicker to pour, it is prone to some issues. Discoloration, flaking, and crumbling are all pitfalls of ready-mix concrete. Fortunately, these pitfalls can easily be avoided.

If you have recently had your driveway or walkway poured with ready-mix concrete, use these four tips to keep it looking beautiful and healthy for years to come.

1. Keep Salt and Deicers at Bay

If you live in a snowy or icy area, you probably use salt to keep ice away. While salt works wonderfully to melt snow and ice—and even add traction—it wreaks havoc on your concrete driveway or walkway. To keep your driveway clean and in good condition, avoid using salt. If salt happens to get onto your driveway due to driving, street sweepers, or snow plows, remove it by shoveling or sweeping it away.

Additionally, avoid deicers. Deicers are commonly used to help melt snow and ice. They can also be used to keep snow or ice from accumulating. They work wonderfully, but contain harsh chemicals that breakdown your ready-mix concrete. If you can, avoid using these chemicals at all costs. If you need some added traction in the winter months, opt for a less destructive technique such as applying sand or kitty litter, to your walkway or driveway.

2. Apply a Sealant

Your concrete should have a protective sealant applied to it. This sealant helps block out water, moisture, and mold. It also prevents staining, cracking, and crumbling. If you haven't had a sealant applied recently, apply one before winter arrives.

3. Keep It Clean

Just like the floors inside your home, your outside walkways and driveways need to be kept clean. Not only does it make them aesthetically pleasing, but it also keeps them safe. Make sure you regularly power wash your concrete with water. Additionally, make sure you remove anything that is piling up on your concrete such as snow, ice, rotting leaves or grass, and trash.

4. Repair When Needed

Finally, make sure you repair your concrete as needed. A small crack might seem like a small problem, but it can quickly escalate into a bigger crack. So take care of any issues that arise as soon as you see them. Otherwise, you might need an entirely new concrete driveway or walkway. If you cannot fix the problem yourself, hire a professional to do it for you.

Ready-mix concrete is a handy tool for both homeowners and contractors. It's easy, affordable, and can be used anywhere traditional concrete is used. If you have any ready-mix concrete on your property, use these maintenance tips to help keep it clean and healthy. For assistance, talk to a professional like R Pepin & Sons Inc.