Driveways can be one of the most problematic areas of your home, in terms of the time and monetary cost of maintenance over the years. Driveways made out of concrete often crack, crumble, and degrade in various ways over the course of its life. This holds especially true if the driveway is located in a place that experiences harsh winters. The elements are one of the biggest threat to concretes integrity, and winter weather can be the most disastrous to a concrete slabs longevity.
While damage from salt and overexposure to other minerals can irreparably harm your concrete, freeze/thaw cycles are probably the biggest potential source of damage a concrete surface can face. In the warmer months water seeps into the concrete, becoming lodged in the extensive network of pores and hairline cracks that are natural to all concrete. Once within the material, the water often cannot escape, sitting there indefinitely. While this can be a minor problem in warmer climates, it can be ruinous with the onset of winter. As the temperature drops, the water within the concrete freezes, leading to expansion. The expansion causes the concrete to crack, which is only further exacerbated and made worse when the ice melts and the concrete contracts once again. These cracks are significant sources of future damage, as corrosion and further cracking now easily occur.
In order to protect your concrete from the dreaded freeze/thaw cycle, you need to apply a product during the warmer months, preferably as soon as you can.
For a concrete driveway, you'll want to choose one of the following products:
Siloxa-Tek 8500: A water based, water and deicing salt repellent sealer. Great for protecting concrete driveways from freeze-thaw cycles, cracking, spalling and pitting. Longevity: 5-10 years.Siloxa-Tek 8505: A water based, water, deicing salt and stain repellent sealer. Great for protecting concrete driveways from freeze-thaw cycles, cracking, spalling, pitting and staining from oils, grease and leaves. Longevity: 5-10 years.Siloxa-Tek 8510: The best concrete driveway sealer available, a solvent based, water, deicing salt and stain repellent sealer. Great for protecting concrete driveways from freeze-thaw cycles, cracking, spalling, pitting and staining from oils, grease and leaves. Longevity: 8-10 years.Lithi-Tek 9500: A great option for driveways not exposed to deicing salts, to prevent water, mold, mildew and organic growth. Longevity: 5-10 years.Cryli-Tek 5505: A solvent based acrylic sealer that enhances, protects, and provides a clear, high-gloss finish. Longevity: 1-3 years.