Caring For Your Concrete
Congratulations on your investment in concrete surfaces for your home. Concrete is an extremely durable product; however, as with any investment, you will need to take steps to insure you protect and extend the life of your concrete surfaces.
Most concrete damage occurs during the winter months.
Freezing temperatures will only affect concrete with the presence of moisture, especially ice build-up. When you can limit the amount of water on or around your concrete, you will lengthen the life of your concrete.
Below are suggestions for protecting your concrete during winter months:
1. Keep your concrete free of snow and ice at all times.
2. Never use deicing chemicals on your concrete, particularly those containing ammonium nitrate. Although
these chemicals may be sold as deicers, they aggressively attack and deteriorate your concrete surfaces.
SAND is recommended to provide traction in the winter.
3. Use a sealer on your exterior concrete (including your garage floor) to limit its contact with moisture. Install
eaves and downspouts to channel water away from your concrete surfaces.
4. Fill the saw joints with a flexible expansion caulk material to prevent moisture from getting under your slab.
Consider parking your vehicles in your garage during inclement winter weather, particularly during the first winter with your new concrete.
Snow and ice, along with deicing chemicals, collect in the fender wells of your vehicle and drip onto your concrete. Parking your vehicles in the garage, instead of on the driveway, during winter weather, will limit the exposure of your exterior concrete to chemicals and moisture. Your garage floor concrete is generally protected from freezing temperatures, but should still be sealed, and should be hosed off periodically to remove chemicals that accumulate from the melting snow and ice from your car. Try to avoid hosing or shoveling the chemicals from the garage floor directly onto your driveway.
Seal your concrete.
We recommend you seal your new exterior concrete (including the garage) with a surface sealer. Concrete should also be sealed with a concrete sealer when the previous seal has worn down. Concrete sealers will last 1-2 years in Colorado's harsh winter elements. August and September are the best months to apply concrete sealer. Your concrete should be completely dry prior to applying your sealer. You can apply sealer with a roller or spray it on with an approved spray applicator. Adding a concrete sealer prior to the onset of winter will limit the amount of moisture that penetrates into the concrete minimizing the likelihood of damage.