Concrete driveways, walkways and patios enhance the appearance and value of your home and can last for many years, but they'll last even longer with a little TLC.
Keep your concrete protected and lengthen its life by following these 7 easy tips:
1. KEEP CARS OFF NEW CONCRETE
Keep cars off new concrete for at least seven days, and keep heavy vehicles off it for the entire first year.
2. DRAIN WATER AWAY
Drain water away from concrete so that it will not saturate the surface or undermine the slab and cause settlement cracks.
3. AVOID DE-ICERS
Avoid using de-icing chemicals (salt or calcium chloride) for snow and ice removal the first winter, especially if the concrete was placed after September 15th and did not get a sealant applied. Sand can be used as an alternative for traction.
More about de-icers:
SKS advises that de-icers containing salt or calcium chloride should be generally safe (after the first winter) when used judiciously on concrete that has been sealed. Read the label carefully to see what chemicals the de-icer contains and for proper application of the product.
Caution: using de-icers on unsealed concrete could cause pitting and scaling.
4. AVOID CONTACT WITH FERTILIZER INGREDIENTS
NEVER use de-icers containing fertilizer ingredients such as ammonium sulfate and ammonium nitrate. Concrete should also be protected from exposure to liquid fertilizer systems used on lawns.
5. EASE UP ON THE CHISELS
Avoid the aggressive use of ice chisels and other tools or equipment that can cause concrete surface scarring.
6. SEAL IT
Apply a sealant to keep water from penetrating into the surface of the concrete. Just as we protect our wood decks from the ravages of weather and chemical attack, we need to protect our concrete. Water-repellent coatings and sealers will reduce damage from freeze-thaw cycles and salting. Related article: Why use a concrete sealant?
7. CLEAN IT
Keep your concrete clean. Even though concrete is the most durable building material we know, many substances can damage or discolor concrete if left in place over an extended period of time. Usually, sweeping and rinsing with a garden hose is sufficient maintenance. However, stubborn stains may require high-pressure spray or detergents. For automobile fluids, apply Floor Dry to soak up chemical residue and rinse with a diluted baking soda solution to neutralize the acid exposure. CAUTION: Direct contact with a high-pressure washer to the concrete surface may cause damage.
Note: It is the intent of SKS Construction LLP to deliver a high-quality product through the cooperation with leaders in the concrete industry and continuing education in the field of concrete construction. Many variables contribute to concrete’s durability and lifespan, such as proper placement techniques, consolidation, proper finishing and curing practices, as well as adequate maturation time prior to exposure to freezing temperature. Any decline in these practices can have adverse effects on the performance of the concrete. At SKS, we feel the steps that we are taking in educating our customers will greatly reduce the risk of problems occurring.