Our local concrete producers utilize local sand and rock deposits to make concrete as economical as possible for the end user. Due to the available aggregates and environmental extremes that exist in the Fargo/Moorhead area, some of the more common distresses include cracks, pop-outs, scaling and freeze/thaw damage.
Now, factor in the severe winter weather effects in our area. Winters characterized by frequent freeze-thaw cycling are generally considered to be more detrimental to concrete durability than winters of extreme, extended cold weather where little freeze-thaw cycling takes place. A freeze-thaw cycle is when the temperature rises above the freezing point (thawing) and then drops below the freezing point. This is especially harmful when we have a very wet fall followed by a hard freeze.
There are two options to consider with new concrete placement that will help safeguard your concrete.
You should always apply a water-based curing compound immediately upon completion of all finish work. Curing will provide a short-term layer of protection that leads to an overall increase in concrete strength and durability. Within 4-6 weeks this membrane begins to chemically break down, and eventually dissipate from the surface. Proper curing practices will enhance the functional capabilities of concrete by sealing in the performance assets of strength and long life.
Although curing is beneficial, we have seen distress issues arise within the first four years upon placement of concrete. Curing is a standard practice for us, but it’s really the minimum safeguarding practice. For the best, longest-lasting protection, SKS highly recommends protecting your concrete with Baracade Silane water repellent sealant.