Proper Concrete Winter Care: How to Protect Your Investment
January 8, 2021
One of the best ways to enhance property value is through the addition of a concrete walkway, driveway, porch or patio. Ready-mix concrete serves an extended life cycle of at least 30 years and requires minimal maintenance over time. To meet and even exceed these service life standards, proper winter care of exterior concrete is essential.
Follow these tips to protect your investment and ensure its longevity:
- Avoid Deicers the First Year.
As the concrete cures, it continues to grow stronger over time, eventually reaching its maximum strength. While the concrete continues to strengthen its first winter, it is important to avoid deicers, such as salt, that increase the number of freeze/thaw cycles the concrete must endure. These cycles tend to stress curing concrete and leave behind significant damage, especially if they do not occur naturally.
- Use Sand.
To reduce the risk of slipping and skidding, coat exterior concrete with a layer of plain sand. Sand is the only safe material to use for skid resistance.
- Do Not Use Deicers with Ammonium Nitrate or Ammonium Sulfate.
These chemicals are often packaged and sold as deicers; however, they are known to rapidly disintegrate concrete and should never be used on or near concrete surfaces.
- Use a Sealer.
In most cases, deicers containing sodium chloride (common salt) or calcium chloride may be used after the first winter if the concrete surface is sealed. Even with sealant, exercise caution when applying approved deicers to preserve the surface.
The Wisconsin Ready Mixed Concrete Association offers valuable technical resources for designers and contractors who provide ready-mix solutions for customers. For more information, refer to the publication titled “Proper Winter Care” on WRMCA’s website.
To order County Materials’ Ready-Mix for your next project, contact our Central Ready-Mix Dispatch Team at (715) 769-5503.
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Company: County Materials Corporation