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Maintaining Residential Concrete
Concrete driveways and walkways are a great way to improve the look, and possibly value, of your home. Residential concrete, like any surface, must be properly prepared and maintained. Here are a few basic steps to follow and keep in mind to protect your investment and maximize its service life.
- Do not use de-icing salts like calcium, sodium or magnesium chloride, at least for the first year. Use sand to provide traction. If a de-icer must be used, sodium chloride is the safest.
- Construct your concrete slab with drainage in mind, so that water will not stand on its surface.
- Cure the concrete immediately after finishing. Curing controls moisture in these first few days.
- Do not let the concrete dry out during the curing process. You can minimize water loss with sprayed-on curing compounds or covering the slab with plastic.
- Concrete should dry for 30 days before the application of a breathable sealer.
- Typically, sealers will need to be reapplied every three to five years. When water no longer beads on the concrete surface, it is time to reseal.
- The prompt removal of snow and ice accumulation will increase its service life.
- Wash the surface when the weather allows to remove salts that drip off of vehicles.
- Make sure to quickly remove fertilizers if they come into contact with the concrete. They contain substances which chemically attack concrete. NEVER use fertilizer as a de-icer.
As always, please contact your local Brock White representative for much more information on how to keep your concrete in top condition.