Winter in Colorado is wonderful! Days of beautiful sunshine and warmth then fantastic fluffy snow for snowshoeing, skiing and sledding. That’s wonderful for us, but bad for your concrete!
These conditions occur weekly, even daily. Thaw, freeze, thaw, freeze, etc. etc. Moisture residing on the concrete surface melts and is absorbed by the slab during the day, and then freezes at night. As this moisture, now residing in the pores of the concrete, freezes, it expands. Up to 9% in volume! As this occurs over and over during the winter, spalling (the flaking of the slab surface) and cracking are likely to develop.
How can you protect your concrete during the winter months? First and foremost, you must re-seal you slab every two-three years no later than September. While sealers do not completely stop the migration of water into the concrete, it is shown to extend the life of your concrete 3x-5x! Sealers help!
If you have not sealed your concrete lately, don’t bother doing it this winter. It’s too late. Sealers need to be applied during warmer temperatures, usually above 40 degrees. All is not lost however. 1) Keep the snow off your slab as best you can this winter. Allowing snow to live on your slab for weeks at a time will lead to spalling and cracking. Brush / shovel the snow as soon as convenient after if falls. 2) DO NOT use deicers on the snow that remains. Deicers lower the melting point of ice and snow causing them to melt. Once melted, the moisture migrates into the concrete. This chemical “brine” is extremely harmful to the integrity of your concreted. If you must, spread dark sand on the surface of the remaining snow and ice for slip protection. On the next 50 degree day (we have many during the winter months), scrape any remaining snow and ice from the surface.
When Spring arrives, re-seal your slab. Call Flat & Fancy to re-seal your drive and patio. If you wish to do it yourself, we’ll help you find the right materials to ensure a quality seal is created.
As always, please contact us anytime with questions or just to say hello! Warmest regards to all and enjoy the rest of the winter!