The concrete walkways through your garden and along the front of your home can enhance your landscape if kept clean and in good repair. Learn how simple regular maintenance can keep your concrete walkways elegant and in good condition.
Sweep Walkways Weekly
Use a densely bristled long-handled broom to sweep your concrete walkways weekly. This is especially important in the autumn, when fallen leaves left on the walkway will stain it with leaf mold after a rainfall. Brush off sidewalk chalk promptly after you have taken a photo of your children's artwork, or after the hopscotch game. Frequent sweeping will also keep ants and other insects from making your concrete walkway their favorite travel route through your yard.
Wash Concrete Walkways Twice a Year
Wash off salt, sand and other deicer residue from winter from your concrete walkway in the spring. Use an environmentally friendly cleaner to avoid harming your lawn and garden. Dampen the walkway with water, apply the cleaner with a stiff bristle brush and scrub any stains that have formed. Rinse with a power washer to get all the soapy residue and dirt off. Once the majority of leaves have dropped in the fall, wash your concrete walkways again with a cleaner that removes mold and mildew. Move lawn furniture off your concrete walkways while cleaning and rinsing to prevent chair leg circles on the concrete. After a thorough cleaning, apply a penetrating sealer to your concrete walkways to retain their fresh appearance longer.
Concrete Walkways Near a Pool
Make a border around your pool with textured concrete or paving stones, to reduce chlorinated water splashes on the flat concrete slabs. When cleaning a concrete walkway near a pool, always direct the pressure washer nozzle away from the pool edge so the pool water stays clean. Sweep the concrete walkway near your pool before each pool cleaning so swimmers do not track leaves and insects into the pool.
Preventive Care for Your Walkways
Don't allow hedges, flowering shrubs and trees to grow over your concrete walkway. Trim back to create a clear grass border of 4 inches on both sides of your walkway. You can keep this grass trimmed with an edge trimmer. Prune trees to allow as much sunlight as possible on your walkway. This will slow the growth of thick green moss between the concrete slabs. Roll a narrow-bladed edger once a year between all the slabs to dig up moss and weeds. Fill the divides with special sand made for paving stone installations, to discourage plant growth. Repair cracked concrete immediately with an epoxy repair kit, available at building supply centers. Replace a concrete slab that has cracked through. Take care to level the ground effectively below it with coarse gravel and sand before putting down the new slab.
Mistakes to Avoid
Don't use a power washer near crumbled or cracked concrete slabs. The pressure will cause them to break down faster. Keep the pressure washer nozzle 12 to 20 inches above any concrete surface. Allow repaired concrete to dry for 24 hours and cure for 2 days before walking or putting furniture on it.