Most properties have some type of concrete surface, such as a driveway, walkway, carport, or patio. All concrete will eventually crack and need repair over time; however, as with many materials, the way you maintain and treat concrete will greatly affect its overall longevity. Note a few tips for properly maintaining your home's concrete surfaces so you can avoid unnecessary repairs and keep the surface looking good for as long as possible.
It's good to clean concrete every year, or as often as needed to remove built-up grime, oil, salt used to melt snow, and other debris. These materials can eat away at concrete and cause eventual spalling and cracking, or hold moisture on the concrete's surface, so that the material gets soft and then cracks or chips. There are also concrete detergents you can buy that work with a pressure washer and that can help remove thick dirt and oil stains, so the concrete looks its best.
One word of caution; when working with a pressure washer, be sure you don't use it under cracked or chipped areas unless you're ready to make repairs to that area. A pressure washer can allow water to get caught under chipped areas and cause those pieces to break away from the concrete base, making the chip worse. Perform this type of thorough clean when you're ready to fill in those cracks; otherwise, use a lower pressure around damaged areas of concrete.
Concrete should be sealed every year or as recommended by your concrete installer, so that the material won't absorb water and then expand and shrink. When sealing the concrete, don't forget to also seal the joints. These are the trenches or indentations between slabs or sections of concrete. These joints are added when concrete is poured so that those slabs have some room to expand after absorbing moisture, without those sections pushing against each other and then cracking. If those joints are not properly sealed, they can allow for water to collect in that trench, and this water then gets absorbed by the concrete.
Weeds can also grow through the joints; not only is this unsightly, but those weeds and their roots can hold moisture against the concrete and also start to grow and push against it, causing cracks. Along with adding sealant to the joints, you might want to add a natural weed killer, such as simple table salt, for added protection.