Care and Maintenance
Although concrete is an extremely durable product, the following care and maintenance
guidelines will add to the value of your investment:
- Do not apply deicing chemicals for snow and ice
removal during the first winter. To provide traction, sand is recommended.
- Never apply deicers containing ammonium sulphate
or ammonium nitrate. These products may be packaged and sold as deicers,
but aggressively attack and deteriorate concrete surfaces.
- For stain removal, do not use harsh acids. Use
a product specifically designed for the stain in question and for
use on concrete.
- Keep concrete clean of snow and ice at all times.
Concrete endures the harshest elements
of our climate. Other wearing surfaces such as carpets and wood floors
often have protective products applied (i.e. stain resistors and sealers)
to extend their service life and durability while facilitating easier
maintenance. Concrete driveways
or parking lots can provide years of service and durability with required
maintenance. Please, review this checklist to make sure your concrete
is receiving the proper care.
- Most concrete damage happens during the winter months.
Freezing temperatures will not affect the concrete without the presence
of moisture. Anything that limits the amount of water on or around
the concrete will lengthen its service life. This is where sealers
come to your concrete's rescue.
- Eaves and downspouts are effective
in channeling the water away from concrete surfaces.
- Filling the concrete saw joints with a flexible expansion caulk
material prevents moisture from getting under your slab.
- The use of de-icing agents should be avoided!
When ice forms, sand
may be applied to provide traction rather than rock salt or calcium.
Rock salt and other de-icers brought on to the concrete surface by
dripping off of car wheel wells should be hosed off the slab.
- De-icers containing ammonium sulfate or ammonium nitrate are the
These products are commercial fertilizers that have been packaged
and sold as de-icers. They will attack your concrete physically as
well as chemically. Read tech package and sold as de-icers. They
will attack your concrete physically as well as chemically. Read
tech package label carefully! They melt ice and snow, but will also
rapidly disintegrate your concrete.
- Chemicals used for lawn care, (as described above), must not be
allowed to come into contact with your concrete!
- During the first winter you should not park vehicles on the new
Snow and ice, along with de-icing chemicals collect in
fender wells and drip onto the concrete. Parking vehicles in the
garage, instead of on the driveway, will limit the chemical exposure
to your driveway. The interior concrete of the garage floor is protected
from the freezing temperatures, but still needs to be hosed off periodically
to remove chemicals that accumulate from the melting ice and snow
from your car. Try to avoid hosing or shoveling the the chemicals
from the garage floor onto your driveway.
- A quality sealer should be applied to the
new concrete before first winter.
The fall months (September or October typically) are the best months
to apply sealers, although some sealers can actually be used down
to 20° F. The concrete should be completely dry and the sealer
can either be applied with a paint roller or sprayed with an approved
pump sprayer (check sprayer directions for restrictions). This sealer
coat should be in addition to the cure and seal applied by the contractor
at the time the concrete is poured. The presence of a surface sealer
before the onset of the first winter weather will minimize the amount
of moisture that penetrates into the concrete minimizing the likelihood
of freeze damage when your concrete is new and most vulnerable.
- Resealing your new concrete before the start of the second winter
after it is poured is recommended.
This application helps get your
concrete through it's most vulnerable time. After this second application
you can get by recoating every other year, depending on the wear
- A critical area is where the
garage door closes and the driveway starts.
This small section is typically poured with the garage floor (the
concrete used for the garage floor usually is a different make-up,
lending itself to be harmed easier than the driveway) receives a
concentrated dose of water and ice causing freeze/thaw distress and
may require a heavier
coating of sealer. The apron of the drive, where it comes in contact
with publicly de-iced streets, should also be watched carefully and
may require a heavier coating of sealer.
- Concrete poured after temperatures approach freezing temperatures
needs special care. Slabs poured in these temperatures typically
will not receive proper curing or drying time and should be protected
from car traffic, de-icers and excessive water for the entire first
* These are suggestions only. We do not recommend
using any products without first consulting a professional and completely
following the manufacturers directions. When applying any sealers you
should take in to consideration any other sealer or materials that have
been applied to the surface.
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