Winter weather is tough on concrete surfaces, and enough strain will eventually cause them to break down. It’s important to recognize the usual culprits so you can take the proper steps to protect against them. Below are winter issues to look for.
What Causes Winter Concrete Damage?
In the winter, concrete surfaces may experience consistent exposure to snow and ice. When the sealcoating wears down, moisture released during freeze-thaw cycles will erode the material. If you have existing cracks, this can be especially problematic. When water seeps in, it can freeze, expand, and widen the cracks. They’ll gradually spread until a pothole forms. Scaling—a form of damage that looks like the concrete is flaking or peeling—may also result.
You can prevent moisture damage by having a professional fill in cracks. If there’s extensive cracking, pave a new top layer and have them apply a water-resistant seal-coat.
2. Snow-Removal Tools
Plows, snowblowers, and other equipment can break down weak concrete surfaces, especially if some scaling is already occurring. If the material was also poured poorly or had an incorrect water-to-read-mix-concrete ratio, there can be a variety of weak points. You don’t have to do away with your equipment—just apply a durable seal-coat.
3. Salt & Deicers
You can spread a layer of salt to thaw your driveway or sidewalks. However, expect some damage. Salt and deicers can discolor hardscapes and stress the porous surface during freeze-thaw cycles. If you have rebars inside the driveway, they can cause erosion, resulting in structural weaknesses.
If you want to achieve the same thawing results, choose eco-friendly options like coffee grounds, fireplace soot, sawdust, or sand. These often cost less and won’t damage your hardscape.
Purchasing quality concrete products will protect your driveway year-round. The L. Suzio York Hill Companies has provided a number of reliable and durable materials since the 1930s, including concrete and asphalt. They’re proud to serve South-Central Connecticut. Visit their website to learn more about the company, and call (203) 237-8421 to speak with a team member. See news and updates by following them on Facebook.