Concrete is one of the most durable materials used in construction projects and flooring today. Regardless of its durability, it needs to be cared for, especially when it meets its first winter. Concrete can become susceptible to damage during freezing and thawing cycles throughout the winter. If it was poured in the last couple of months, you’ll want to be sure you protect the surface.
You’ve spent a lot of time and energy on your custom concrete project, and you want it to last a lifetime. To ensure that it lasts for years to come, we recommend proper curing and sealing processes, not using harsh chemicals and being cautious with what you put on top of it. Below are some ways to care for new concrete during its first cold season!
Let the concrete finish curing
Working with concrete and cold weather can be difficult, but the job can be done as long as it’s done right. You may have already had to add admixtures and accelerators to the concrete mix or create a windbreak or heated enclosure. For the next couple of months, it’s best to minimize use until the freeze and thaw cycles have ended. You want to be sure nothing comes into contact with it that will weaken the surface.
Properly seal the concrete
It’s really all about protecting the concrete from moisture damage. Water expands when it freezes and contrasts when it’s melting, and any water trapped in the pores of the concrete can cause potential damage when it’s new. Using sealants can help protect it from the snow.
Avoid the use of harsh chemicals
Road salt and other chemicals are often used in the wintertime to minimize slipping and falling. For new concrete, it might be best to put up signs saying the concrete may be slippery and to use caution, rather than dumping salt and other chemicals onto the surface. Ammonium nitrate, ammonium sulfate or magnesium chloride are the worst for new concrete. You can also use plain sand instead of salts.
Be wary of what goes on the surface
Know that the cars you put on top of new concrete will have snow and harsh chemicals trapped within the tires. Those on top of the concrete for a prolonged period of time will only contribute to damages. If you must shovel or plow snow off the surface, do your best to not scratch the surface with a shovel or snowplow. A snow blower with rubber edges is best because you do want to keep it clear of snow and ice.
Turn to your custom concrete professionals
Your custom concrete experts don’t want your concrete to crack during its first winter. Following these tips will help ensure it doesn’t. It’s best to ask a professional when it comes to new concrete, and we’re here to help! Contact us today with any questions or concerns, or to get started with a winter project.