Protect Your Investment: Tips on Caring for Your Concrete

Tips on Caring for Your Concrete

As durable as concrete is, it still needs care.  Just a little general maintenance will make your concrete last for many, many years.

When you’re talking about caring for your concrete…there are many factors to consider:  weather, chemicals, temperature changes and just plain neglect can damage concrete surfaces surfaces, sometimes beyond repair. Yet, just a little maintenance can prevent this damage and keep your walks, driveways and other concrete surfaces as good as new.  So be on the look out for these Concrete Culprits and take all the necessary precautions … you’ll be glad you did!

Harsh Chemicals: 

De-icers are very harmful to concrete.  Do Not use any deicing chemicals on your newly poured concrete during the first year (under any circumstances).  Many de-icers  often contain salt or calcium chloride, and shouldn’t be used under any circumstances.  Also, never apply de-icers containing ammonium sulphate or ammonium nitrate.  These chemicals are often packaged and sold as de-icers, but they will rapidly disintegrate concrete, and overtime can cause spalling (flaking off) or scaling of the concrete’s surface.  The only safe material to use on your concrete to make it skid resistant, is plain sand.

Winter Parking on Your Driveway:                                                                           Most exposed concrete surface deterioration is caused by de-icing chemical solutions dripping from underneath vehicles parked in your driveways after being driven on wet, salted streets.  Once salt has permeated the concrete’s surface, alternate wetting and drying facilitates dissolving, migration and re-crystalizing, which causes the cement to bond and fracture.

 Lawn Chemicals:

The chemicals that are so effective against weeds and insects in your lawn, can also wreak havoc on your concrete. Many of them, overtime,  will deteriorate the top surface of the concrete. Once you’ve passed the spreader around check your walks and driveways. If any chemicals seem to have landed there, blow them off with a lawn blower or wash them off promptly with the garden hose. Frequently, depending upon the chemicals you may use, rust spots will appear to alert you as to where you may have missed the lawn and hit the concrete. Though chemicals can be highly effective in controlling or eliminating harmful bugs and weeds, concrete can handle the weeds without help, so no extra chemistry is needed there!

Extreme Temperatures – Freezing and Thawing:

Colorado weather, famous across this land, and can be very detrimental to concrete. With our warm, sunny days then  followed by sub-zero nights, and  daily temperature fluctuations of (at least)  twenty degrees, and also add the continual freeze/thaw cycle, our concrete is hard put to survive the expansion and contraction that is the natural result of our climate. Coloradoans, above all, need to give their concrete extra care. The results are well worth the effort!

Applying a Protective Sealant to Your Concrete:

 We highly recommend sealing all your concrete surfaces (old or new) at least every other fall, with a high quality, gloss sealer.  Most people do not realize the importance of sealing concrete.  Applying a good quality sealer will penetrate the concrete’s porous surface and create a protective layer, this will provide added protection to the surface and make it much more difficult for harmful chemicals to damage the concrete.  We offer a Wash-n-Seal Service; we will pressure wash your concrete, followed by an application of a high quality sealer.  Please contact us; we would be happy to provide you with a FREE quote.

Fundamentals to Consider when planning Your Concrete Project:  

1. Hire a licensed professional for your concrete project, one that is experienced and knowledgeable in the concrete trade and that will adhere strictly to the characteristics of using quality concrete and that has a proven reputation for providing excellent workmanship.  Always ask for references and also be sure to contact your local Better Business Bureau for the company’s rating.

2. Plan your project at the time of the year that is most convenient for you,  and keep in mind that concrete placed after October and thru April will require extra care the first winter.  Make sure that you shovel all snow away and do not use de-icers.  Surface treatments should be applied where special conditions warrant. Examples: where de-icers are used or carried onto the concrete from streets or highways…where there is minimal drainage or where drainage from surrounding areas is carried onto the concrete surface.  Try to keep all traffic-bearing salt from the highway off the surface if you can.

No one expects the property owner to be an expert with concrete. That’s why we’re here to help you, and advise and assist you in the care of your concrete surfaces. So rely upon us to help you in any way possible, whether your surfaces need repair or replacement. If a problem occurs, let us know immediatetly!  We can assess the situation and find a solution; preventing the damage from getting worse. You know what they say about “an ounce of prevention”. So feel free to give us a call – we’re here to help you.  Our years of experience working with concrete has taught us how to handle any problem.   And rememberwe’re at your service!