As you begin spring cleaning projects, you may find extensive damage across the surface of your concrete structures. You can restore the winter concrete damage and help prevent future incidents with a few key techniques.
Despite its durability, concrete remains susceptible to damage from winter weather conditions. Snow and ice can cause concrete to chip and crack in a relatively short period of time. Even your efforts to minimize winter concrete damage by chemically clearing snow and ice can have a negative effect.
If your driveway, walkways or other concrete structures suffer damage, you can perform repairs to restore the surface and take preventitive measures for next winter. Ensure that your concrete crack repair and prevention is done correctly for longer lasting surfaces.
Types of Winter Damage
Concrete is sensitive to constant temperature fluctuations, like when snow and ice layered over the top freeze and thaw each day. With the temperature changes, the concrete materials expand and contract, eventually causing cracks to develop. This cycle can also cause thin pieces of concrete to chip off around the edges and at the upper surface. If you attempt to clear the ice with an application of road salt, its chemical makeup will immediately begin to corrode the concrete, weakening it.
Concrete Crack Repair
Cracks are unsightly, and they also allow water to penetrate your concrete structures and further weaken them over time. You can fill in the cracks with a tube of sealant to fully waterproof and restore the surface. The sealant material remains relatively flexible to retain a tight bond to either side of the crack.
For large cracks, you will need to push a backer rod into the divot before filling the rest with sealant. Make sure to remove all loose concrete debris with a soft bristle brush before adding the sealant compound. If you want to fully refinish the surface, it is best to contact a concrete professional for assistance. You should inquire about curing compounds or sealing chemicals which will help the overall integrity and help avoid future cracking.
Damage Prevention Tactics
Manual removal of snow and ice accumulation can help protect concrete from damage caused by the freeze-thaw cycle. Use a plastic snow shovel to scrape the surface of your concrete until it looks bare. Remember to avoid the use of salt or other chemicals to de-ice the driveway.
You will need to re-apply sealant approximately every two years to continuously protect your concrete driveway or sidewalk. Taking good care of concrete surfaces by employing proper maintenance techniques can result in surfaces lasting much longer, which saves you from costly replacement.
If you are in need of concrete crack repair from winter damage, contact Razorback Concrete at 870-455-0700 to speak with a specialist and receive a free concrete estimate.