Finding the best concrete for your driveway enhances your curb appeal and creates a driveway that maintains its durability and strength for years. There are many types of concrete surfaces to consider for your property, and finding the right one requires some research. To help you find the best driveway concrete, we put together a list of the main varieties of concrete and their best applications.
Types of Concrete for Driveways, Patios and Other Areas
The concrete you choose will depend on your maintenance ability, budget and aesthetic preferences. Your options for concrete driveways, patios and other surfaces include:
Poured concrete is extremely durable. For that reason, poured concrete is found in all types of exterior applications, namely driveways, patios, walkways and pool decks. Homeowners must be diligent in maintaining these surfaces because it is expensive to replace poured concrete. Concrete surfaces have a long life span, but that life span shortens without regular maintenance.
A driveway wash and seal for poured concrete is twofold. On one hand, the wash is essential for homeowners that take pride in how their driveway looks, but the seal is even more vital and prevents any chipping, pitting and cracking. Once a year, homeowners must wash and seal their driveways and other concrete surfaces to help prevent damage from occurring.
Stamped concrete emulates other materials at a cheaper cost. It is a great option for homeowners that value aesthetics and want to lower the up-front cost of installation. Stamped concrete cannot hold up against heavier weight, so it is best used for patios, walkways and pool decks.
The downside to stamped concrete is that the need for repair and replacement will approach sooner than it would for poured concrete or asphalt. Homeowners get an acrylic top coat on stamped concrete to repel water and add a stain to the surface. We recommend washing stamped concrete but not sealing. While poured concrete is porous and can benefit from our penetrating sealer, stamped concrete is not porous and therefore cannot benefit.
Pavers are a cost-effective option for a patio compared to poured concrete or asphalt. The cost of replacement is especially cheaper with pavers because you generally are only replacing the damaged sections of the patio as opposed to replacing the entire surface.
Paver installation requires a professional and takes a lot of time and materials to install. Pavers are stronger than poured concrete and can readily handle changes in the seasons. Having said that, paver patios tend to have a longer life and a greater gap between replacement, but the application of a sealer will help aid in their life cycle. Apply a penetrating sealer to these surfaces to provide better protection.
One of the more cost and labor-intensive options for a patio is brick. Brick surfaces require a safer pressure to wash. Brick is very porous like poured concrete and benefits by our washing and sealing processes.
One downside of a brick patio is how the passage of time will negatively affect this surface. For example, when seasons come and go and the area below the surface tends to soften and shift, this can cause the brick patio to become uneven and perhaps dangerous to walk on. Beyond the initial costs of materials and labor, the maintenance of a brick patio is also more costly than other surfaces over a shorter period. Having said that, the bricks themselves can last a lifetime if maintained properly.
Which Type of Concrete Is Best for Your Home?
The right type of concrete for your driveway or walkway depends on your budget, needs and preferences. For the best results and longest-lasting material, choose concrete for its durability and regularly maintain it to get the most out of your investment. Consider cost, upkeep, look and wear when exploring concrete types.
If you’re looking for a temporary option or one that’s easy to repair, concrete pavers may be best. But if you are looking for driveway concrete, consider poured options, as they’re the most durable. For an ornamental finish to walkways and patios, stamped concrete or brick is a classic and attractive choice.
How to Maintain Different Types of Concrete for Driveways
Like all long-lasting materials, concrete needs regular maintenance to ensure the driveway stays strong and clean for many years. One of the best ways to maintain concrete driveways is by scheduling professional washing and sealing at least once a year.
Professional washing ensures your driveway receives the best and safest clean. Washing removes dirt, debris, moss and other substances and keeps your driveway clean and attractive. You should also have a professional regularly apply a concrete sealer to the material according to your concrete type. Concrete sealers fill pores or sit on top of concrete to protect it from cracking, chipping and staining.
Each concrete type requires slightly different care, so talk to a professional for the best advice on maintaining your material. Use this quick guide for your concrete maintenance:
- Poured concrete: Have your poured concrete power washed once a year and sealed with siloxane-silane every two years.
- Stamped concrete: Avoid power washing stamped concrete, as it can damage the seal. Rinse with water and clean the surface using a gentle cleanser and a push broom to remove dirt. Sweep regularly to remove debris. Stamped concrete typically uses acrylic sealers. They can last up to five years but often wear unevenly. To counter this, more frequent sealing may be needed.
- Concrete pavers: Occasionally sweep and rinse pavers to clear debris and dirt. For heavy stains and cleaning, professional power washing will remove build-up. Professionals should seal pavers with siloxane-silane every one to two years.
- Brick: Power washing is too harsh for brick driveways and patios, so professionals clean them with soft washing techniques yearly for the best results. Have siloxane-based sealant applied every two years to keep the driveway protected. Regularly remove weeds and plants from the cracks to maintain brick shape and strength.
Keep Your Concrete Looking Perfect
At Perfect Power Wash, we use a premium siloxane-silane sealer to penetrate deep into your concrete’s pores and protect it from water, damage and wear. With over 20 years of experience, we offer expert, high-quality driveway and sidewalk cleaning services to ensure your concrete stays strong and protected. Contact us to request a free quote or schedule a service today by calling 833-868-8873!