The changing seasons can have an impact on the quality of your concrete, and perhaps the most significant seasonal transition here is the move into the colder winter period. Because of the way moisture freezes and thaws during this time of year, causing it to expand and contract within areas like your concrete, the winter is one where concrete surfaces must be protected to ensure their long-term quality.
At Lift-Up Concrete Lifting LLC, we’re happy to provide a wide range of concrete repair services, ranging from driveway lifting and leveling to numerous other areas of your property. We’ve assisted a number of clients with their concrete leveling needs, including those who are looking to get this job done before the winter and its accompanying snowfall hits Utah. What are the risks posed to your concrete surfaces during the winter, and why is leveling your surface so important in many of these situations? Here’s a general primer.
The Risks Winter Poses to Your Concrete
As we noted above, winter is likely the most stressful season of the year when it comes to your concrete. The freezing and thawing of moisture creates expansion and contraction, respectively, and this can cause an incredible amount of pressure on your concrete surfaces. It’s one reason so many people damage their driveway during the winter – they’re not protecting their surface from these risks.
As if that wasn’t enough, you also have to worry about the effects of snow and ice. When these elements are allowed to sit atop your concrete for an extended period, they’ll likely begin to join together, including at seams where different pieces of concrete meet each other. Once this happens, you can expect that water will be able to seep into your concrete and start causing damage that might require us to do expensive concrete replacement.
Depending on the type of damage your concrete is experiencing, there may be a few solutions you consider. These include several forms of concrete repair, but in many cases, the primary need for your surface will actually be leveling solutions that can help to keep your concrete even and safe. After all, if you’ve got dips or areas of uneven height in your surface, you’re inviting damage that can destroy the long-term strength and integrity of your concrete.
Our next few sections will go over the reasons why leveling is so often carried out before the cold weather hits.
Avoiding Major Hazards
One of the key risks of concrete surfaces that are uneven is that they can easily create hazards for vehicles, pedestrians and other people who are on your property. A surface with too many high spots or dips will make it nearly impossible for car tires to drive across without losing traction or getting stuck in the holes created by uneven surfaces. Similarly, if you have an area of your driveway that’s particularly low, elderly or young people may have trouble getting into or out of vehicles that are parked there.
And during the winter, when these kinds of level obstructions often can’t be seen easily due to snow or ice, the chances of someone creating an accident by driving across your property increases significantly. Preventing these kinds of accidents can be very important, even if they are only likely to occur during the winter.
One way to avoid this is through taking steps to ensure your concrete surface has been leveled before any winter precipitation hits it. By doing this, you can keep your family safe from injuries during the upcoming months while also protecting your concrete surface from any damage it might sustain if there’s ice or another form of precipitation.
In addition, you’re preventing any risk of liability if someone else is injured on your property due to these hazards.
Snow-Blowing Becomes More Difficult
Have you ever tried running a standard snow-blower across a surface that’s heavily uneven and covered in chunks of ice? The outcome is probably very similar to what you’d see if someone decided to run across your uneven concrete that way – it’s nearly impossible. In fact, the only option when attempting that would be to find a different method for removing snow from your surface or even trying to plow it away manually yourself.
This is another reason why leveling your concrete before winter is important. When your surface has major cracks or other forms of obstruction in it, you can’t use a standard snow-blower to clear the obstructed areas because these machines are designed for working across even surfaces. You risk damaging both the machine itself and your surface.
Winter Worsens Leveling Issues
Finally, if you allow major leveling concerns on any concrete surface to persist until the winter, you can expect to see things get much worse. The freezing and thawing process that goes on in colder weather will cause any cracks or dips in your surface to expand further than they might in summer, leading to more severe cracking that makes damage even more likely.
If you keep just a few inches of snow accumulated on your level concrete, this might not be an issue. But if there’s several feet of snow accumulated on your surface, you’re putting a lot of pressure onto the lower portions of your concrete that may have deeper cracks or other problems in them. In turn, this can lead to even more damage when the following spring rolls around and you have to start dealing with the repairs.
For more on why it’s important to consider leveling your damaged concrete before winter hits in full, or to learn about any of our concrete lifting and leveling services for any surface, speak to the staff at Lift-Up Concrete Lifting LLC today.