Nothing adds interest to a concrete driveway or patio like exposed aggregate. Aside from its good looks, exposed aggregate provides a rugged, non-skid surface that can take heavy traffic and stand up to weather extremes. Still, nothing is maintenance free and it’s important to take care of your exposed aggregate surface to keep it looking good for years to come. Read on for tips on how to maintain exposed aggregate driveways and patios:
Keeping it Clean
Keep your exposed aggregate patio, driveway or path clean by sweeping it regularly to keep it free of debris. (You can also use a leaf blower to remove debris.) A regular rinse with a garden hose is also a good idea. For more stubborn soil such as tire marks, leaf stains and oily spots, try the following cleaning methods:
- Use a power washer with hot water and a concrete-safe commercial chemical cleaner/de-greaser. The hot water will lift oil to the surface and the de-greaser will emulsify it so it washes away. You can use a stiff-bristled brush for extra-stubborn stains.
- For older grease or oil spots, or spots that are deeply embedded, you can try a poultice. Simply saturate some kitty litter or sawdust with a strong solvent such as acetone, xylene or lacquer-thinner and smear the mixture over the stain. Cover with plastic and let osmosis work its magic. The solvent will break down the oil, and the absorbent material will draw it out of the concrete. Be forewarned however, that the process takes time, and is probably not an effective method for large stains.
- You can also try the technology used to clean up oil-soaked beaches, which involves the use of single-cell microorganisms that actually “eat” oil and oil derivatives. Enzymes and oxygen digest the oil and turn it into carbon dioxide. When the source of their food is gone (oil or grease), the microorganisms die off leaving a clean surface.
Keep it Sealed
It’s vitally important to protect your exposed aggregate surface by having it professionally re-sealed to ensure long-lasting performance and beauty. A properly sealed exposed aggregate driveway or patio will resist problems like spalling, damage from freeze-thaw cycles, staining, and other abrasions. A well-maintained aggregate surface can last upwards of twenty-five years, so it’s well worth hiring a professional concrete service provider to protect your investment and keep it looking beautiful.
In the Columbus, Ohio area, trust the professionals at SealMaxx to take care of your exposed aggregate and any other concrete surfaces. Call us today for a free evaluation at (614)488-7325.
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