Why maintain your concrete? Keep it looking like new with these recommendations.
Warning! Use of deicers on your driveways, could be harmful and is never recommended.
Your exterior concrete may be subjected to a variety of potentially damaging conditions. If your driveway, walkway, or patio is made with the right concrete mixture and proper procedures for placing and finishing have been followed it can serve its purpose, structurally and aesthetically, for a long time.
Do your part by using the following tips to maintain a durable concrete surface:
- DO NOT USE DEICING CHEMICALS DURING THE FIRST WINTER. USE PLAIN SAND FOR TRACTION ON ICE AND SNOW.
- Concrete may remain saturate with water during the first year. Avoid the use of deicing salts during the first winter. This will minimize the potential for frost damage. Use plain sand for traction. Clean off accumulations of snow and ice. If your car drips road slats on a concrete driveway, remove the road salts as soon as it is practical to do so.
- IT IS BEST TO AVOID DIRECT APPLICATION OF DEICING CHEMICALS
- Remember that deicing chemicals increase the potential for scaling damage.
- NEVER USE DEICING PRODUCTS CONTAINING AMMONIUM NITRATE OR AMMONIUM SULFATE OR ANY OTHER FERTILIZER-BASED CHEMICAL.
- Several commercial deicing chemicals may contain ammonium salts or urea based ingredients, commonly used in fertilizers. These chemicals will destroy concrete surfaces. If a solution of the chemical in water smells of ammonia, avoid its use for deicing. Wash off fertilizers that inadvertently fall on your concrete driveway or walkway when using a spreader over your lawn.
- AFTER THE FIRST WINTER, SPARINGLY USE A MIX OF SAND AND CHLORIDE BASED DEICERS – ROCK SALT OR CALCIUM CHLORIDE – FOR DEICING CONCRETE SURFACES.
- Sodium chloride (rock salt) and calcium chloride are milder forms of deicing chemicals that do not destroy concrete surfaces when used sparingly. Preferably use a mix of sand and salt.
- APPLY A CONCRETE SEALER TO PROTECT YOUR EXTERIOR CONCRETE SURFACES.
- For maximum protection, water-repellent coatings and sealers will prevent water from getting into the concrete. Apply a sealer by rolling or spraying a commercial sealer on a dry concrete surface in late summer or early fall. A homemade sealer that works well is boiled linseed oil, thinned with an equal volume of mineral spirits or kerosene applied in two layers. (This may slightly darken the concrete surface.) Use manufacturer’s recommendations when using commercial sealers. Silane or Siloxane – based commercial sealers, intended for use on concrete surfaces are recommended.