Having your concrete prepared properly is one of the most important things you can do to keep it from cracking, changing colors, or deteriorating. One of the most easily forgotten and sometimes unknown things about concrete is sealing it. Not performing proper concrete sealing at the right time or with the wrong sealant can lead to costly and frustrating problems or a limited life of 10-15 years or less. The good news, however, is that it doesn’t have to!
There are numerous easy ways to help avoid damaged concrete and cracks throughout the 4 seasons of the Midwest. Follow these steps to prepare your driveway and decorative stamped concrete slabs for the cold, wet, dry, and hot months ahead.
Sealing your concrete surfaces
In winter months when snow and low temperatures freeze the top of your concrete, which can cause frost damage if your concrete isn’t sealed. Sealing your concrete protects the surface and makes it easier to remove any ice as well. Throughout the seasons, an unsealed slab of concrete can begin to have spider veins, Spaulding or flaking, and surface cracking. Sealing protects it from many of the elements as well as people and automotive traffic.
Additionally, one thing many people forget is accidents, such as spills from a party or a child’s drink with color in it, can stain unsealed concrete – or the leaky car from a relative or friend.
Sealing concrete driveways and stamped concrete patios is essential for protection. Each type and use depends on the type of concrete stamped or broom finish, how the slab is used as well as how much sunlight it gets. SOLIDForm Decorative Concrete can determine for you the best plan including intervals, type of sealant, or other products to prolong the life of the concrete and in some cases the sealant.
Regularly sweeping, blowing, or washing concrete as the seasons change is vital to protecting your driveway or stamped concrete and seating wall caps. Leaves, berries, and other organic matter will prevent your concrete from getting the proper exposure to sunlight it needs in order to avoid freezing. It can also lead to discoloration from the decaying of the many different color leaves and berries sometimes permanently. Sealing can help reduce or eliminate these stains or discoloration.
Repairing damaged concrete
If your concrete has become damaged or is already cracking, it needs to be taken care of as soon as possible.
Cracked concrete exposed to freezing temperatures can cost thousands of dollars to replace and is likely to continue deteriorating over time if you do not repair it before temperatures continue to drop.
Be sure to inspect all areas of your property that have concrete. It is possible that your gazebo, deck, or walkway might need replacement too. Cracks can also lead to unsightly weeds and other growth. A sealant professional should have solutions to help you with cracks or other unsightly defects in your concrete.
Be careful with salt
Using too much salt or the wrong kind of salt as a melting agent can actually damage your concrete. This can cause it to become brittle and more likely to crack as it penetrates the porous surface. Salt should only be used in moderation.
When buying salt, you should look for certain types, such as water softener or solar salt that’s easier on the surfaces and does not contain certain chemicals that are known to deteriorate concrete.
If you follow these steps, you can avoid the nightmare of having to replace or repair cracked, discolored, or chipped concrete throughout the seasons. Don’t wait another day to start protecting your concrete and prolonging the life up to 30, 40, or even 50 years of your patio or driveway.
With the Ohio weather being as unpredictable as it is, there’s no telling what each season will bring. Start taking steps to protect your driveway and stamped patio no. Contact SOLIDForm Decorative Concrete for your tailored concrete protection today.
We look forward to helping you keep your concrete sealed through all seasons!