Want to improve your home’s curb appeal? Start with your driveway

(BPT) – Whether you’re planning to sell your house in the near future or you just want to improve the look of your home’s exterior, the first thing you may think of to improve its curb appeal is landscaping. However, a driveway that’s in poor condition can seriously detract from your home’s appearance, no matter how tidy your grass and shrubs may be.

To make a good impression on neighbors, guests and potential homebuyers alike, make sure that one of the first things they notice — your driveway — is in great shape. A driveway that’s clean and well-kept goes a long way toward that positive first impression you want to convey, so now is a good time to protect your investment and improve your home’s value by addressing how your driveway looks.

Before the harsh winter weather makes some outdoor projects impossible, take time this fall to protect and seal your concrete driveway so that it not only looks great, but is also safer for cars and pedestrians alike.

To seal your driveway effectively, you’ll need to do some prep work first. Here are the steps you should take to get your driveway in shape, so it will withstand the winter better and still look good when springtime rolls around again.

1. Clean before you seal. For sealer to bond well, your driveway’s concrete slab should be as clean as possible. Dirt, grime and oil are “bond breakers” that will prevent sealer from adhering properly. To clean your driveway thoroughly, use a 1500 PSI pressure washer first. You can rent pressure washers for a reasonable cost at most home improvement retailers and some rental companies.

2. Check for cracks. Examine your driveways for cracks, flaking or any other surface damage that needs to be repaired. Once the surface is fully dried, you can use Quikrete® Concrete Repair or Quikrete Gray Concrete Crack Seal to quickly and easily patch up your driveway. Watch this video to see how to correctly use these products to repair cracks in your driveway.

3. Use a stain remover. If you spot any stains that are caused by motor oil, rust or efflorescence (crystalline salt deposits) on the concrete, it’s recommended to remove as many as possible before you apply the sealer, using Quikrete Oil Stain Remover and/or Quikrete Efflorescence and Rust Remover. Make sure to thoroughly rinse the driveway after using one or both of these products.

4. Apply driveway sealer. Do not apply sealer until your driveway is completely dry. Then get ready to apply ready-to-use Quikrete Acrylic Concrete Cure and Seal to seal and help protect your concrete driveway from acids, grease, oils, food stains, salt and more.

Make sure to:

  • Check the forecast. Make sure the temperature will be above freezing for 24 hours before applying, and it should be 50 degrees Fahrenheit or above when applying the sealer. If it’s too cold, the product will be slow to set or could even freeze, rendering it ineffective. Do not apply if rain, heavy dew or temperatures below 50 degrees F are expected within 24 hours of applying sealer.
  • Read and follow all instructions, precautions and safety guidelines on product packaging. Note: You should wear impervious gloves and prevent skin contact with the product. Remove any of the product that may get on your skin or clothes promptly, while wet, with soap and water. Also clean your application tools with water immediately after use.
  • Gather the tools you need such as gloves, a garden sprayer and brush.
  • Apply evenly for best results. For sealing finished concrete surfaces, apply using a broom, brush, roller or garden sprayer to dry concrete or masonry.

To learn more about home improvement projects and to find the products you need, visit Quikrete.com.