Okay, so this picture isn’t quite the wintertime. But you get what we’re saying. Concrete is one of the most durable materials on earth, and properly caring for and maintaining it can make it last even longer. Winter weather can be especially hard on outdoor concrete, but a little preventative care and maintenance can help you weather the storm well.
The best thing you can do to protect your outdoor concrete from damage of any kind is to have sealer applied over the finished slab. A sealer keeps moisture, dirt and chemicals out of the porous surface of the concrete, and keeps it looking nice and functioning well for much, much longer. When damage does occur, it’s much easier to apply a new coat of sealer than it is to replace a whole slab.
If your outdoor patio or walkways are already sealed, but are showing signs of wear and tear, have them resealed before the cold winter weather hits. Giving your outdoor concrete a good cleaning with a power washer at the end of the warmer months is a good idea too. Leftover dirt and debris can be abrasive when its left on the surface of the concrete all winter long.
De-icing and Snow Removal
Salting walkways is the most common way for those battling winter weather to cut back on ice and snow, but it’s the worst thing you can do for your concrete. When the salt seeps down into the pores of your slab, it starts working on breaking it down. Once it’s down there, salt can continue to do damage all winter long.
A concrete sealer will protect your slab from salt that’s going to make its way to your concrete no matter what. Deicer is generally okay to use on concrete as long as the slab is over two years old, and/or properly sealed. The best way to keep ice and snow under control is to keep your walkways shoveled and clear the best you can.
Tips for Decorative Concrete
You may be worried that your decorative outdoor concrete is going to be more prone to winter damage, but the good news is that color hardeners and sealers used in these types of slabs add another layer of protection. Even with this extra protection, you’ll want to make sure that stamped, acid stained, colored, and textured concrete stays as beautiful as it was when you first had it installed.
Take some extra time during the wintertime to keep your decorative concrete clean and fresh. On warm days, when the snow is melted and things dry out, sweep away dirt and debris to prevent abrasion. If a new coat of sealer is needed in the spring, take care of it right away before any damage is done.