If you are like most homeowners, you take great pride in having a lovely home. Landscaping is a large part of the exterior appeal of a home and most homeowners take care to cut the grass and provide a nice backdrop to the home. As part of the exterior, you may have a concrete pathway or driveway. You use a weed-eater to trim the weeds along the edges but what do you do when weeds start popping up in cracks or hard to reach places? Most people use weed killer, chemicals that are created to kill weeds. But will using such chemicals damage your concrete?

Avoiding Strong Chemicals

In many cases, weed killers will damage the concrete when sprayed directly onto the surface. Certain chemicals have components that will eat away at the concrete which leaves pits within a formerly smooth surface. So, what can you do to avoid damaging your concrete? For one, avoid using commercial grade chemicals to kill weeds. Strong weed killers will damage your concrete, possibly leaving behind pitting, salt residue or a color change.

Because you may not know the outcome of a certain chemical, you can try spraying in an inconspicuous area. Testing the chemical first will help to determine how your concrete will react. It is not uncommon for homeowners to spray weed killer all over a concrete pathway and end up with holes or dips where the chemical ate away at the concrete material. With a test area, the homeowner would have seen this reaction and avoided using the chemical. If you test a chemical, wait a few days to see the reaction. Any coloring or eating away at the concrete means the chemical should be avoided.

Natural Options

Instead of using harsh chemicals that could damage your concrete, you do have other options. For one, you can pull the weeds by hand, trying to remove the weed by the root. Then you can treat the empty space with a natural weed killer to prevent weeds in the future. You can also fill in an empty area, such as a hole or crack with more concrete, so there is no space for weeds to grow.

However, it can be hard to remove weeds by hand, especially if they have popped up from a small opening in the concrete, such as a tiny crack. Create a natural weed killer instead of using chemicals to avoid damaging your concrete. A natural option can be created from white vinegar, salt and dish soap. This option is safe to use on concrete and is pet and kid friendly. You can kill the weeds in your concrete without damaging the material as well as avoid having chemicals in your yard that could be harmful to pets or kids.

Try alternative methods to avoid using such harmful chemicals found in commercial weed killers, to have a safe yard, free of pesticides that can harm your concrete as well as living creatures. Opt for an environmentally friendly option and feel good about your choice of weed removal.

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Meet Lance Davis


Lance Davis is a third generation Concrete Contractor with over 10+ years experience in concrete repair and slabjacking. His company Davis & Sons Concrete has proudly served all of North Central Illinois, Rockford and the outer suburbs - and he would love to hear from you!

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