Concrete is a great addition to any Denver home, but, like any other material, it requires maintenance and care to keep it in top shape. Proper care is even more important during the winter months, as cold weather can prove disastrous for concrete that has not been maintained. While nothing can prevent your concrete from eventually sinking or becoming uneven (and, when that happens, we’re here to help!) there are a few steps you can take to prolong its life for as long as possible.
If you have just built your home, or if you have recently poured new concrete, there are a few special steps you need to take. Concrete is especially delicate during its first year of existence, and harsh chemicals can eat away at the surface, causing pitting and discoloration. For the first winter of the concrete’s life, you should avoid using salt as a de-icer, as the chemicals will prove to be too rough on the new concrete. Instead, you should opt to use sand as a way to gain traction on ice and snow. Additionally, ensure you don’t put any pressure on new concrete, like walking or driving on it, for at least seven days after it is poured. By doing this, you will make sure the concrete is nice and set, and will not become cracked or uneven immediately.
Even if your concrete is not brand new, special care still needs to be taken to protect it during the winter, as nothing is as rough on concrete as cold weather. While freezing temperatures can be bad for concrete overall, it is actually water that can do the most damage. Concrete is porous, as such, water will seep into the material during the warmer, daytime temperatures. Then, when the temperature drops to freezing overnight, the water inside the concrete will freeze as well. As freezing water expands, this can cause the concrete to break and crack, and then potentially sink as the weather warms up.
To avoid this, try removing as much ice and snow from your concrete as soon as possible, especially if the temperature is below or hovering around freezing. The longer the ice and snow sits on the concrete, the more likely water will be absorbed by the concrete and then freeze. Additionally, de-icing products that contain ammonium sulfate or ammonium nitrate should be avoided, no matter how old your concrete is. These chemicals are quite harsh, and can cause your concrete to become more porous and be more susceptible to breaking.
Your concrete doesn’t just have to be protected in the winter, either. Concrete can easily become discolored by flower pots and other material that sits on it. To avoid this, you should rotate the placement of pots, mats, and other furniture every so often. You should also remove any organic debris, like leaves or mulch, from your concrete as soon as possible. As organic material degrades quite quickly, it can easily cause a discoloration in the concrete if not addressed soon enough. Finally, if your concrete does get discolored, try to avoid harsh cleaning products that contain acids. Look for ones that are deemed safe for concrete and that address the specific discoloration you are trying to get rid of.
Sealant is a great way to protect your concrete from unwanted moisture, and should be applied annually for best results.
We know that, despite even the best intentions, your concrete will sometimes sink or become uneven. When that is the case, we are here for you and will help you fix your concrete as painlessly as possible. And don’t forget to take a look at our recommendations for maintaining your newly repaired concrete either!
If you would like to get more information about our foam-lifting repair method, or would like a quote on a job you currently have, please do not hesitate to reach out to us by either filling out our easy online form or by calling us at (303) 883 – 3322.