As we head into the winter months in Nebraska, all of us at Carlson Kennedy Construction are interested in sharing best practices when it comes to concrete care and maintenance. Here are a few important things to remember in helping your concrete porches, patios and driveways last as long as possible.
– A common misconception is that using salt is the best solution for handling ice and snow. The reality is, such commonly-sold de-icers–including salt and those repackaged fertilizers which contain ammonium sulphate or ammonium nitrate–actually deteriorate concrete surfaces at an alarming rate.
– Sand is recommended for adding traction, and is much less hard on the concrete.
– Freezing temperatures combined with moisture in the concrete does the most damage, so it’s easy to see why sealers can be a concrete’s best friend. The best time to apply or re-apply sealers for maximum protection is in the early fall, when temperatures are mild.
– Anything which limits water in or around concrete–including rain-diverting eaves and downspouts, along with expansion joints in the slab seams–can also be helpful in prolonging the life of your concrete.
– Because snow and ice collected in the wheel wells often contain de-icing chemicals which can melt, drop and erode the concrete surface, limiting parking on the driveway is a good idea.
– The garage floor is more protected from the cold temperatures and should be more heavily sealed, so it remains the best place to park. However, it will still need to be hosed off periodically to clear off the chemicals which can accumulate, but still in a way where they can be diverted from the driveway as much as possible.
Snow in Nebraska is a guarantee, so pick up a bag of sand on the way home today. A little bit of extra care will ensure your porches, patios and driveways will last for many winters to come!