Caring For Your Concrete During Winter
Concrete is a very durable product, but still requires proper care to ensure longevity. Deicers are harmful to concrete surfaces, especially during the first winter. To avoid surface scaling, discoloration or deterioration; here are a few tips for winter maintenance on your concrete surfaces.
DON’T use salt or other deicers during the first winter…
Concrete takes approximately 28-56 days (pending temperature and when the concrete is placed) to reach its maximum strength and properly cure. While some deicers, such as salt, do not chemically react directly with the concrete, they are “hydroscopic”, meaning they attract and maintain the presence of water and increase the number of freeze/thaw cycles the concrete goes through. This has the potential of damaging the surface of the concrete and / or causing discoloration, especially during the first winter. Use of chemicals can harm concrete surfaces beyond one year as well.
DON’T use deicers with ammonium nitrate or ammonium sulfate…
These chemicals are often packaged and sold as deicers, but they will rapidly disintegrate concrete. Common garden fertilizers containing these two chemicals (or urea) may cause a chemical reaction which will cause disintegration as well. Pellet fertilizers should be swept from concrete slabs before dissolving. Never use fertilizers for deicing purposes. *Always check the label for ingredients*.
DO use sand anytime…
Sand is truly the safest material to use to make the concrete surface skid resistant. PLAIN SAND! Plain sand can be purchased at several locations, frequently at the ready mixed concrete supplier in your area or local hardware stores. Kitty litter, while more expensive, is another safe option.
Dominion Paving & Sealing is not implying that use of sale and deicers are safe or beneficial to concrete. We understand that in some cases, ice melt is required for safety, and it is for these examples the above guidelines are implemented.
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