If you want to winterize your concrete, then you should prepare it to withstand the harsh temperatures and hefty snowfall that’s bound to come with this Utah winter.
Concrete is extremely durable, which is why it’s the most commonly used building material in the world. Still, it’s not indestructible. But with preparation and care, you can limit winter’s negative effect on your driveway, walkway, patio or any other concrete surface exposed to the elements.
Why Is Winter So Destructive?
The main factor that contributes to concrete’s wintertime vulnerability is the fact that it’s a porous material. It absorbs water!
This means that when ice and snow build up on the surface then melt due to rising temperatures or sunlight, the surface absorbs the runoff. The problem arises when temperatures drop again, usually later in the day or at night. This causes the water that was absorbed to freeze, putting internal pressure on the structure.
The next day when the sun comes out or the temperature rises again, the ice melts. This freeze/thaw cycle continues throughout the winter. Repeated cycles wear down the structure, threatening its stability and sometimes causing it to crack.
Deal with Damage Before Winter Begins
While there’s nothing you can do about the physical makeup of this building material and how it responds to winter and absorbs water, you can help mitigate the damage by dealing with problems before winter begins. To winterize your concrete, you need to assess its condition and make a list of what you need to repair before the first big snowfall.
For example, does your concrete have any noticeable cracks, either in the surface or any of the control joints? Is your concrete slab sinking or uneven?
Any cracks or sinking slabs present more of an opportunity for precipitation to reach the inner depths of the structure, allowing winter to take more of a toll than you’d like.
By scheduling concrete lifting and crack repair before winter, then covering the surface with a durable sealant, you can slow the effects of the freeze/thaw cycle.
Don’t Treat Concrete Like Asphalt
Another way to winterize your concrete is to find a de-icing product that doesn’t make the freeze/thaw cycle worse. Rock salt is one of the main culprits. It works quickly to de-ice your concrete driveway or walkway, but as a result, it puts your concrete through many more freeze/thaw cycles than is good for it.
Instead of rock salt, try using gravel or sand to make your surface easier to walk on. Concrete shouldn’t be treated like asphalt, because the chemical makeup is extremely different!
Call Today for Concrete Repair
Need concrete repair help? We’re here for you. In your efforts to winterize your concrete, contact the Lift-Up team. We are only a call away!