(BPT) - Homeowners nationwide are making improvements on their homes, both to better enjoy them and to protect the value of their investment. If you’re one of the many people going the DIY route, you’ll be glad to know there’s an easy way to boost your home's curb appeal by focusing on one of the things first noticed — your driveway — and ensuring that it’s clean, well-kept and in good repair.
Heading into the harsh winter weather, protecting and sealing your concrete driveway will help keep it looking great. Having a driveway in good shape not only ensures safety for the cars and pedestrians using it daily, but also sends the message that your property is well tended, inside and out.
But before you seal your driveway it’s crucial to do the right preparation, or the seal won’t work. Here’s what you need to know about prepping your driveway, then sealing it to look great through the winter.
Step 1: Clean it up
Before using a sealer on your driveway, you'll want to get the concrete slab as clean as possible, not just to help it look its best, but also to ensure that the seal will bond. “Bond breakers” like dirt, grime and oil will prevent your sealer from adhering properly.
Use a 1500 PSI pressure washer to get your driveway as clean as you can. Most home improvement retailers and some rental companies will rent pressure washers for a reasonable cost.
Step 2: Repair any cracks
While you’re washing your driveway, make note of any cracks, flaking or other surface damage that needs repair. Once the surface is fully dried, you can use QUIKRETE Concrete Repair or QUIKRETE Gray Concrete Crack Seal to quickly and easily patch up the concrete as needed. Here’s a quick video to see how to use these products to repair cracks in your driveway.
Step 3: Remove stains
You may also notice stains caused by motor oil, rust or efflorescence (crystalline salt deposits) on the concrete. It’s a good idea to remove as many stains as you can before you apply the sealer, using one of these products:
Your driveway's surface should be completely rinsed and dried after using one of these products, before applying sealer.
Step 4: Seal your driveway
Applying ready-to-use QUIKRETE Acrylic Concrete Cure and Seal will help to seal and protect your concrete driveway from acids, grease, oils, food stains, salt and more.
- Check the forecast. You’ll need to be sure the temperature is above freezing for 24 hours before applying, and it should be 50 degrees F (10 degrees C) or warmer when you’re applying it. If it’s too cold, the product will be slow to set or could even freeze, rendering it ineffective. Do not apply if rain, heavy dew or temps below 50 degrees F are expected within 24 hours of applying.
- Read and follow all instructions, precautions and safety guidelines on the product packaging. For example, you should wear impervious gloves and prevent skin contact with the product. Remove any of the product that may get on your skin or clothes promptly, while wet, with soap and water. Also, clean application tools with water immediately after use.
- Make sure you have the tools you need such as gloves, a garden sprayer and brush.
- Apply evenly for best results. For sealing finished concrete surfaces, apply using a broom, brush, roller or garden sprayer to dry concrete or masonry.
Ready to get started improving your home's value and curb appeal? Learn more at QUIKRETE.com.