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Concrete Care and Maintenance

Quick Tips
Although concrete is an extremely durable product, the following care and maintenance guidelines will add to the value of your investment:

    • Do not apply deicing chemicals for snow and ice removal during the first winter. To provide traction, sand is recommended.
    • Never apply deicers containing ammonium sulphate or ammonium nitrate. These products may be packaged and sold as deicers, but aggressively attack and deteriorate concrete surfaces.
    • For stain removal, do not use harsh acids. Use a product specifically designed for the stain in question and for use on concrete.
    • Keep concrete clean of snow and ice at all times.

Complete Care
Concrete endures the harshest elements of our climate. Other wearing surfaces such as carpets and wood floors often have protective products applied (i.e. stain resistors and sealers) to extend their service life and durability while facilitating easier maintenance. Concrete driveways or parking lots can provide years of service and durability with required maintenance. Please, review this checklist to make sure your concrete is receiving the proper care.

    • Most concrete damage happens during the winter months.
      Freezing temperatures will not affect the concrete without the presence of moisture. Anything that limits the amount of water on or around the concrete will lengthen its service life. This is where sealers come to your concrete's rescue.
    • Eaves and downspouts are effective in channeling the water away from concrete surfaces.
    • Filling the concrete saw joints with a flexible expansion caulk material prevents moisture from getting under your slab.
    • The use of de-icing agents should be avoided!
      When ice forms, sand may be applied to provide traction rather than rock salt or calcium. Rock salt and other de-icers brought on to the concrete surface by dripping off of car wheel wells should be hosed off the slab.
    • De-icers containing ammonium sulfate or ammonium nitrate are the worst!
      These products are commercial fertilizers that have been packaged and sold as de-icers. They will attack your concrete physically as well as chemically. Read tech package and sold as de-icers. They will attack your concrete physically as well as chemically. Read tech package label carefully! They melt ice and snow, but will also rapidly disintegrate your concrete.
    • Chemicals used for lawn care, (as described above), must not be allowed to come into contact with your concrete!
    • During the first winter you should not park vehicles on the new pavement.
      Snow and ice, along with de-icing chemicals collect in fender wells and drip onto the concrete. Parking vehicles in the garage, instead of on the driveway, will limit the chemical exposure to your driveway. The interior concrete of the garage floor is protected from the freezing temperatures, but still needs to be hosed off periodically to remove chemicals that accumulate from the melting ice and snow from your car. Try to avoid hosing or shoveling the the chemicals from the garage floor onto your driveway.
    • A quality sealer should be applied to the new concrete before first winter.
      The fall months (September or October typically) are the best months to apply sealers, although some sealers can actually be used down to 20° F. The concrete should be completely dry and the sealer can either be applied with a paint roller or sprayed with an approved pump sprayer (check sprayer directions for restrictions). This sealer coat should be in addition to the cure and seal applied by the contractor at the time the concrete is poured. The presence of a surface sealer before the onset of the first winter weather will minimize the amount of moisture that penetrates into the concrete minimizing the likelihood of freeze damage when your concrete is new and most vulnerable.
    • Resealing your new concrete before the start of the second winter after it is poured is recommended.
      This application helps get your concrete through it's most vulnerable time. After this second application you can get by recoating every other year, depending on the wear and conditions.
    • A critical area is where the garage door closes and the driveway starts. This small section is typically poured with the garage floor (the concrete used for the garage floor usually is a different make-up, lending itself to be harmed easier than the driveway) receives a concentrated dose of water and ice causing freeze/thaw distress and may require a heavier coating of sealer. The apron of the drive, where it comes in contact with publicly de-iced streets, should also be watched carefully and may require a heavier coating of sealer.
    • Concrete poured after temperatures approach freezing temperatures needs special care. Slabs poured in these temperatures typically will not receive proper curing or drying time and should be protected from car traffic, de-icers and excessive water for the entire first winter.

* These are suggestions only. We do not recommend using any products without first consulting a professional and completely following the manufacturers directions. When applying any sealers you should take in to consideration any other sealer or materials that have been applied to the surface.

 

 

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