A concrete sidewalk adds a touch of elegance to any property. It increases a yard’s aesthetic value while offering easy access and mud-free movement. Concrete paths are popular with Maryland homeowners for packing long-lasting protection with a limited amount of upkeep. A sidewalk also adds to a home’s real estate value, but not if it’s looking weathered and worn. Here are some helpful hints to extend the life and look of your concrete sidewalk.
Clean It Like You Mean It
Concrete requires very little maintenance, but that doesn’t mean it can be ignored. Sweeping and washing should be at the top of your to-do list. A sidewalk looks a lot nicer when it’s free of dirt and grime, but it’s also safer. Painful and even serious injuries may result from slipping on loose debris. Aim for an annual cleaning, or seasonal if your schedule allows. A simple soap-and-water solution should suffice, but tougher stains may call for a pressure washer. Avoid de-icing chemicals and quickly wash off any fertilizer residue, as both can damage concrete.
No Rough Stuff
Certain everyday actions can strain a sidewalk’s surface. In the winter months, prevent possible chipping by only using plastic shovels to remove snow. Lawnmowers and snowblowers can damage concrete sidewalks in Maryland, so be sure to raise the blade if you must pass over them. Although accidents are inescapable, try to avoid dropping sharp or heavy objects on your sidewalk. Today’s small chip could become tomorrow’s major crack.
Periodically sealing your sidewalk protects against staining, water intrusion, and harmful UV rays. Homeowners seeking an inexpensive and easy-to-use solution often apply acrylic sealers. Those in Maryland and areas that experience freeze-thaw conditions might select silicate sealant for added protection against erosion and the effects of harsh weather conditions. For ideal protection, sidewalks should be resealed every three years.
Don’t Crack Up
Concrete is known to have a long life, so if your sidewalk has been around for a while, it may be showing its age. Keep an eye out for cracking and crumbling and repair trouble areas immediately. If untreated, water intrusion can lead to structural damage and plants can take root between cracks or gaps. Luckily, simple cracking can be cured by re-patching with concrete mix. If your sidewalk suffers from broken edges or severe crumbling, however, it may need to be replaced. Call a sidewalk paving company in Maryland like Excel Fencing & Decking to have a professional assess the damage.
Concrete sidewalks are renowned for being low maintenance, but don’t mistake that for no maintenance. Ignoring upkeep can lead to damage over time. Instead, try these tips so your sidewalk’s life never ends and call that Excel team if you need a hand!