How to Look After Your Concrete Surface During a Hot Summer

Estimated reading time 6 minutes

Whether you have recently had a concrete driveway installed or had the same one in place for some time, you’ve likely seen the hot weather affect it in some way or other. Whether it be a poor installation that has seen cracks emerge and get worse, discolouration from the intense heat or some other form of damage, concrete can be prone to problems if not looked after. This extends way beyond just driveways though. If you have had a new patio laid or have a garden path in place, without preventative maintenance, the sunlight can cause problems that could lead to injury and an expensive repair job.

At Tidey & Webb, we utilise our knowledge as specialist surfacing experts to ensure any driveway, carpark, footpath, playpark or patio is laid to the best possible standard possible. That’s not to say preventative maintenance isn’t necessary though. Read this edition of our blog to see how you can give your concrete surface a little more care over the summer months.

Should you get a concrete drive laid in the summer?

You certainly can, and at Tidey & Webb, we take the appropriate care to ensure that we prepare and lay concrete at the correct times of day to ensure optimum results. Some surfacing companies unfortunately do not weigh up the possibilities of delivering a sub-premium product if it is not used at the most suitable time of day.

If a concrete mix is prepared during the peak hours of the sun, there is every chance of it drying too quickly. While we all want our driveway to be ready as soon as possible, a rapid setting can cause more damage. Instead of drying out as it should and setting correctly, it becomes more brittle and starts to crack.

For many contractors, it is common to lay a concrete surface earlier in the day and to consider the use of shades and shelters to reduce the direct impact of the heat. Some will also spray the subgrade with chilled water to minimise the chances of the concrete setting too fast. Some may also choose to use special products that slow down the setting speed of the concrete.

Simple measures like this and an efficient professional surfacing team mean that during the summer months, a new concrete driveway is possible.

How to protect your concrete driveway in the summer

If your driveway is now approaching its first summer, it is best to be prepared in advance. 

Apply a sealant

Applying a sealant to your already set concrete drive can help prevent potential damage. By preventing thermal expansion, it allows the surface to stay “as is” and not be altered by the heat of the sun.

Regular spot cleans

Not only to keep your driveway looking neat but a regular clean can help remove any potential debris that could cause the driveway added harm when the weather gets warmer. Simply sweep it and use a weak detergent mixed with water to clean any marks away. Then, hose it down with fresh water to remove any trace of your cleaning product. It would be advisable, if using a pressure washer, to have it on its lowest setting. You could completely remove the sealant or even the top layer of the drive.

Consider cutting back on your cutting back

If you have trees or other greenery overhanging your driveway, it may act as a great shelter from the sun and give added protection to your driveway. Perhaps give your garden plans a rethink for a little so you still have the colourful front garden you enjoy, but also keep your drive safe!

Park heavier vehicles elsewhere

If you own multiple vehicles, it might be worth seeing if there are other places where you can park any of them. With the hot weather, there is not only an increased likelihood of you using your vehicles less but also a chance of them being left on the drive for longer as a result. This can lead to dents and cracks forming, and once the vehicles are moved, the sun could cause deep-rooted damage to the drive. If you have no possibility to put the vehicles elsewhere, consider moving them on the drive often so no one area gets overly worn.

Regular checks and repairs

Give your driveway the once over every week or so once the weather has got very hot. Not spotting a problem in its early stages can lead to a significant one further down the line. If you spot cracks, discolouration, or chipping, it may be a good idea to contact Tidey & Webb so a quick assessment can be carried out to determine the ideal solution. This will save you money in the long term.

Be careful of chemicals

If you happen to spill a chemical on your driveway, it can be damaging enough, but with the added heat from the sun, it could react even quicker with the driveway and cause more damage. If you spot any spillages or stains, clean them at once as if you would with a spot clean.

Reseal when necessary

Resealing a driveway isn’t just a one-off job. It should typically be redone every three years, but much depends on the condition of the drive and how the weather has been. This should be done when temperatures are at their lowest during the day (if resealing during the summer) and left to dry completely, then avoid using your drive for a day or two to enable it to fully get to work on your concrete.

Concrete is a durable and long-lasting option for your driveway, it just needs a little TLC during the summer to ensure it remains at its best. If you are unsure, contact our team for some expert guidance and advice. We have been surfacing driveways, roads and more for over thirty years and are on hand to help with any commercial surfacing or residential surfacing projects across Sussex, Surrey and Kent,

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