The concrete around your home can make a huge impact when it comes to curb appeal. This is certainly true for the driveway, which is usually the first thing you see as you approach a home from the street. So, when a driveway is cracking, pitting and crumbling over time, it can really be an eyesore that conveys a negative impression of your home even before a guest sets foot inside.
Not only that, but a crumbling driveway can also lower your home’s value along with its curb appeal. Plus, driveway cracks and pitting can even present tripping hazards that can be dangerous to visitors and family members alike.
So, you may ask, “How do I protect my driveway from cracking and crumbling?” or “Should I use a driveway sealer?” The answer is, it’s actually easier and less expensive than you might think to protect your driveway and other concrete, such as sidewalks, patios and pool decks – permanently.
But first, let’s talk about why good concrete goes bad.
Why Concrete Driveways Crack and Crumble Over Time
Water is concrete’s enemy. It can wash away supporting soil when there’s too much of it. It can cause soil to shrink when there’s too little. And when it freezes and thaws over and over, it can cause the surface of your concrete driveway to crack, pit and crumble.
Here’s the thing: concrete is porous, so it acts like a giant sponge. First, water is absorbed at the surface — maybe from rain or melting snow. Then, if temperatures drop below freezing, the water turns into ice, which expands and breaks the walls of those tiny pores, weakening the concrete.
You probably won’t notice this damage at first. Unfortunately, though, it worsens exponentially with every freeze/thaw cycle until the pitting and flaking becomes obvious to the naked eye.
In addition to damage caused by freezing and thawing, concrete’s porous nature makes it susceptible to staining from chemicals, dirt and other materials. As with cracking and pitting, staining is an eyesore that can reduce your home’s curb appeal.
So, how can you prevent all this from happening?
Applying Concrete Driveway Sealant to Prevent Damage
The key to protecting your driveway for the long term is to seal it from the elements. Sealing your driveway may seem like a no-brainer, but many homeowners forego this simple step only to regret it years later when it becomes necessary to replace or resurface their driveway.
So, how do you seal a driveway? You can buy a five-gallon bucket of driveway sealant at your local big-box DIY store, but it’s important to know that not all sealants are made alike. The options available at retail stores are often messy and have to be reapplied every few years, which can get expensive. Plus, the driveway sealer you find off the shelf may not be compatible with new concrete.
At Thrasher, we recommend SealantPro™ from Supportworks. SealantPro concrete sealant is a proprietary formulation unavailable anywhere else in the area that permanently protects concrete with just one professional application, extending its life by 3-5 times. Plus, our crews receive ongoing training from industry experts to ensure a perfect application every time.
How Our Concrete Driveway Sealant Works
SealantPro is a state-of-the-art material developed by our sister company, Supportworks. It bonds with concrete on a molecular level, permanently protecting it from water, dirt and other contaminants in a single coat. Once applied, SealantPro dries in minutes and is fully cured in just 6 hours, so you can use your concrete the same day. It is simple, fast, economical and extremely effective. Learn more about SealantPro>>
Whether you’ve just built a brand-new home, or you’ve updated your existing home with a new driveway, patio or sidewalk, it’s a smart move to protect your investment with a concrete driveway sealant.
What if the Damage is Already Done?
A sinking, cracked concrete driveway can be lifted, leveled, sealed and stabilized to last for years to come. However, if the surface of your driveway has already begun to pit and crumble, concrete sealant will only protect against additional damage. For a driveway that’s already plagued with unsightly surface damage, homeowners often turn to full replacement. However, there is another option: resurfacing.
Driveway Resurfacing vs. Replacement
Tearing out and replacing a concrete driveway is a huge undertaking. The old concrete must be jackhammered into manageable pieces and hauled away. Then, new concrete must be poured and left to harden and cure — a process that can take several weeks, during which you’ll have to park on the street and avoid your garage. It’s noisy, messy and incredibly disruptive.
But, thanks to new technology, there is an alternative to total concrete replacement called concrete resurfacing. It’s a quick, easy process that requires minimal disruption, yet it offers the same look and functionality of total concrete replacement.
At Thrasher, we recommend ResurfacePro™, a concrete resurfacing product developed by our sister company, Supportworks, to renew tired, broken old concrete. The ResurfacePro system works by coating your old driveway surface with a super-durable layer of polymer cement, giving it a brand-new look and restoring its function — and unlike brand new concrete, it can be ready for use the very next day.
After driveway resurfacing, we recommend a coat of SealantPro concrete sealant to protect your driveway from future cracking, pitting, crumbling and staining. We can even develop a customized comprehensive solution that can lift, level and seal your existing driveway so it will not only have a new surface, but also be just as level as the day it was poured.
Need an Expert Opinion on Your Driveway?
If you’re ready to renew your tired, broken old driveway, give us a call at 800.827.0702 and schedule a free consultation and same-day quote. Our concrete experts will come to your home and walk you through a thorough inspection. You’ll then receive a detailed estimate at the appointment for a solution that’s customized for your home.