The long, icy cold winter is finally showing signs of retreat as we are entering the spring months. Combine the winter cold with the semi-cold spring period and all you have is bad news for your decorative concrete. On top of that; defects in installation, improper finishing, poor quality concrete materials, and other factors can only further deteriorate the expected life of your decorative concrete surface coat.
While you can always get new decorative concrete systems installed, why not save them from the winter blues using our simple tips below?
Repair cracks and damaged spots. – One of the major reasons why decorative concrete systems fail so early is because of poor maintenance and repairs not done in a timely manner. What we fail to realize most times is that water penetration and absorption into concrete is one of the most common reasons deterioration of concrete occurs. When water penetrates concrete the moisture can freeze and thaw causing expansion and contraction as per the external temperatures. This expansion can pop off areas of concrete called spalling, or crack concrete in weak areas. Also in the winter if you use shovels or ice picks to remove the snow, you might only be destroying the surface even more allowing in more water in the coming months. The key to long lasting concrete is to repair the crack and chips so that it becomes more difficult for water to penetrate thereby causing future issue.
Reseal your concrete surfaces before the snow arrives – Before the snowy season starts consider sealing and protecting your concrete. Acrylic sealers for instance, create a transparent film that is water resistant while also reduces stains and dirt from accumulating on the surface. That said; acrylic sealers are not completely waterproof but serve as ideal protection for both plain and decorative concrete, and their major benefit is that they enhance the performance of concrete while adding a decorative gloss to the surface. To know whether your sealer is still intact, view your concrete from an angle and see if the surface has a shine or polished look to it or simply water down the surface and see if it darkens immediately. Sealers also keep salts and chemicals from entering the surface, so consider resealing your concrete systems at least every year for best results.