With winter right around the corner, now is a perfect time to consider preventative maintenance for your concrete surfaces. As the season’s change, freeze and thaw cycles begin. The harsh weather, as well as organic growth, can lead to issues with your concrete, be it your foundation, patio or driveway. By conducting annual inspection and maintenance before the winter arrives, you can ensure your concretes stays in top condition.
Repair and Protect
The first step is to consider what you need to repair and protect. During the winter, the constant freezing and thawing cycles can create issues with your concrete. As water moves it, freezing can occur which can lead to expansion which causes fractures. When you notice cracks, spalling or crevices in your concrete, now is the time to have the concrete repaired.
If you have a patio, driveway or sidewalk with cracks, the water can easily seep inside and under the material. Once the cold snow arrives, the freezing and melting process will cause the cracks to become larger as the expansion occurs.
By repairing the area, you are less likely to see your concrete affected. Repairs can be simple and DIY projects for small cracks or require the help of an expert when major issues arise. Either way, the repair needs to be completed to ensure you do have a larger repair need after winter.
For preventative maintenance, concrete can also be waterproofed. With proper waterproofing, the concrete is sealed and will not be affected by water during the winter months. The foundation of your home should be waterproofed when needed to ensure any snow or ice will not be able to set aside your home, then melt and leak into the crawlspace or basement area. Waterproofing can be done by the homeowner depending on skill level and know-how or by a professional.
Winterizing Chemical Effects
When it comes to removing snow and ice once winter arrives, salt is often used in substances for melting. Any new concrete poured during the last year is vulnerable to salt and other ice-melting components. It is important to use materials that are not damaging to concrete.
When using any snow-melt products after the first snow arrives, be sure you understand the proper application. If you use the wrong type of product, it can have damaging effects. Your concrete may be eaten through or have rough spots when you want it to remain smooth and pristine. Never use any type of salt on your concrete or a chemical that you are unsure as to what the outcome will be.
Overall, it is important to care for your concrete year-round. Use the fall months to keep your concrete areas clean and make any repairs that are necessary. By upkeeping your concrete, you can rest easy once the first snow arrives as you know your concrete is able to withstand the upcoming freezing and thawing cycles. Get started today reviewing your concrete and providing preventative maintenance cleaning and repairs.