Concrete requires maintenance through freezing winter temperatures to guard against cracking and other damage.
Even though concrete is an extremely durable building material used in all manner of structures, it requires regular maintenance, especially when winter’s freeze/thaw cycle threatens its stability. Since it is porous, it absorbs moisture, which can freeze in the winter and result in the eventual cracking and disintegration of the surface.
The following maintenance guidelines can help prevent this issue and keep your concrete driveway, patio, steps or pool deck safe.
Consider Applying a Sealer
The high-quality sealers on the market today can increase your concrete’s imperviousness to moisture absorption. Sealant is especially important to apply if your concrete is freshly poured and about to go through its first winter.
Sealers are normally painted or sprayed on and should be applied before the temperatures drop too low.
Remove Snow Immediately
In the winter, it’s all about eliminating moisture. A key part of this proactive approach is to remove snow and ice before it has the chance to build up on the surface.
If you believe you will be unable to immediately remove snow or ice, consider hiring a professional service to keep your concrete surfaces clear and as dry as possible. Commercial businesses often take this approach with their parking lots and walkways so moisture penetration is reduced and the freeze/thaw cycle is less destructive.
Avoid the Use of De-Icing Salts
De-icing salts can be used harmlessly on many surfaces, but concrete is not one of them. These chemicals can accelerate the freeze/thaw cycle and harm the surface. Instead, pour sand over icy patches to gain traction and avoid injury.
Redirect Home Drainage Downspouts
One of the lesser-known tactics to decrease moisture on concrete in the winter is to assess the direction of the building’s downspout drains. Ice melting off the roof may be directed onto the driveway or other concrete surface. Reposition the drains to push water both away from the home’s foundation and any concrete that may be more severely damaged from the melting precipitation.
Avoid Parking Vehicles on Concrete
Your car picks up salt from the roadway and it melts off the hubcaps and bumper. If you park your vehicle on your concrete driveway, the salt can have a damaging effect.
It is also best to avoid leaving heavy objects on concrete that has just been poured, so if the driveway is entering its first winter, keep your vehicle in the garage, if possible.
Talk to the experts at Lift-Up Concrete to learn more about winter maintenance and how to keep your concrete in great shape through every season.