Why is Concrete Maintenance so important?
Concrete can be found in many different surfaces such as pool decks, garage floors, indoor and outdoor surfaces with different types of sealers. Concrete is usually laid over a gravel base and it can last for many years in great shape without the need for any maintenance, which is why people neglect it and usually is too late to fix any issue the material can have.
Even if not frequently it is still recommended to do some maintenance to extend the concrete’s useful life, as well as keeping it clean and free of cracks that could become trip hazards.
For instance, one of the best solutions to keep the quality of the structure is the concrete surface sealing process. This process acts as a protective barrier against wear, stagnant water and adverse weather conditions, either cold, protecting concrete from snow or ice, or hot climates with scorching heat and humidity. Any of these conditions may impregnate the surface of the concrete cracking it and starting to damage it as a result.
This is one of the most common recommendations because it is not an expensive process and it can be done from time to time. The optimum time period between concrete reseals is every 2-3 years with the purpose of maintaining the concrete in excellent conditions without the need of incurring high expenses due to significant repairs.
What are some other maintenance practices for Concrete?
It is necessary to keep your concrete driveway or concrete patio always clean in order to remove debris and dirt that may cause damage to the material in an aggressive way until it gives it an old and ugly aspect. After the surface is cleaned, it is recommended to wipe the area and then wash it with water and a special concrete cleaner.
The frequency with which you should perform these types of cleaning and maintenance depends on the weather under which the concrete is exposed to. If the climate has dramatic changes, concrete maintenance should be done more often.
Another option for extending the concrete’s useful life is concrete sealing. This procedure may be done every 2 years to keep the material in good condition. These services create a protective layer on top of the concrete, adding brightness and preventing permanent stains such as those caused by oil. To get the job done, we suggest contacting a reliable concrete contractor specialized in concrete sealing and crack repairs.
Removing Stains as Soon as Possible
As mentioned, a concrete sealer helps to keep out the stains in order to protect the concrete material; however, it is imperative to clean every spoiled substance from the surface immediately, so the layer of concrete sealer does not begin to get worn unevenly.
Controlling the Weight to Avoid Fast Cracking
Concrete is designed to withstand large amounts of weight, but the poured concrete layers used on HOAs or driveway surfaces are designed to resist daily vehicle weight but not heavy machinery; if you transit frequently with heavy vehicles it is suggested to reinforce the concrete layers to avoid fast cracking.
Using The Correct Chemicals
You should be very careful with different chemical products that are often applied on the concrete surface since some of them could be harmful and may accelerate the aging of the material, leading to concrete cracking. Some of these corrosive products could be deicers, fertilizers, and some domestic cleaning products, that oftentimes if spilled can leave stains of colored concrete.
These types of products begin to wear the driveway sealer, thus wearing the concrete and damaging it.
Finally, we suggest reading carefully the product specifications before applying it on the concrete surface.
How to Repair Wide Concrete Cracks?
This is a common issue that happens as a result of negligence or misinformation. However, it can be addressed with the following steps:
- Work the cracked concrete with a hammer and chisel, widening its base to ensure that no material in the area is loose.
- You may use a wire brush in order to remove any debris or loose parts that may be in the crack itself.
- It is necessary to eliminate water and moisture inside of the crack. You can do so with a vacuum cleaner, and also the sun itself will give you a hand.
- With great care and following the instructions, the materials must be mixed in order to be poured inside the crack.
- Then, the concrete patching compound ready mix must be applied to the crack. The trowel should be kept in the crack in order to eliminate any air bubbles. The trowel can only be removed when the mixture reaches the surface.
- The mixture should also be applied in the surrounding area of the crack and then smoothed with the trowel.
- You must allow the concrete mixture to dry and cure as the contractor or the product instructions show, to obtain a long-term solution.
- For aesthetic purposes, the area where the concrete repair and its surroundings are located should be painted or sealed.
In conclusion, it is always a good choice to do preventive maintenance to your concrete even when damage is not evident.