When you own or manage a property, you have a responsibility to keep both the interior and exterior in excellent condition — and all visitors and inhabitants safe. While you likely have countless responsibilities, concrete maintenance should be near the top of your list. Fortunately, keeping your concrete walkways in tip-top shape is relatively straightforward. To that end, here are a few easy maintenance tips to ensure your concrete continues to look great and function as it should.

Keep It Clean
One of the most important (and simplest) concrete maintenance tasks is remembering to keep it clean. That means removing debris and dirt with a broom or leaf-blower, as well as using either a hose or a power washer and soap to remove any spills or rust right away. Grease, oil, and gasoline spills can easily cause permanent staining if they aren’t taken care of immediately. By making cleaning your concrete a habit, you’ll add to its aesthetic value.

Reseal Regularly
No doubt, your walkways will see traffic from vehicles and even pedestrians. Be sure to assess the state of your concrete and reseal every two years or when the finish starts to seem dull (whichever comes first). Since smoother pavement extends the pavement’s life between 10% and 25%, regular resealing can protect your investment.

Minimize De-Icers
Your pavement company will likely suggest that you avoid the use of heavy salt for ice removal during the first year of installation. And while de-icers can help keep occupants and workers safe, they should not be used on decorative concrete elements. In general, these chemicals can be extremely harsh. Because they promote a thaw-refreezing cycle, they can cause concrete damage. Over-use may even result in the need for sealing concrete cracks. If you’re located in an area that’s prone to snow, ice, and freezing temperatures, you may want to ask your paving services provider about the products they’d recommend to maintain safety and the look of your walkways.

Use Caution
While concrete is incredibly durable, it’s not indestructible. Residential concrete walkways, in particular, aren’t designed to withstand the excess weight of heavy construction equipment or over-sized vehicles. And even in commercial applications, you must remember to protect your concrete. To that end, you should never use metal shovels or plows to remove snow or debris from concrete to avoid scratching the seal coat. You don’t need to tiptoe around your concrete surfaces, but you certainly don’t want to risk damaging them either.

Generally speaking, concrete maintenance doesn’t require a lot of effort. That’s thanks in part to the strength of the material itself. But by putting in a little bit of time and energy, you can preserve your concrete walkways for many years to come.