CARING FOR EXTERIOR CONCRETE
Concrete driveways, walkways, porches, and/or patios on new homes
require care and maintenance to protect them from damage and prolong
First of all, the mixture used includes six (6) sacks of cement per
cubic yard of concrete and the use of an air entraining admixtures
which gives the concrete a strength of 3,000 p.s.i. and increases
it workability without the use of excess water. The air forms a
system of bubbles which improves its ability to withstand permeating
moisture. However, concrete cures forever, and the more protection
you can provide early in its life, the less likely damage will occur.
The main cause of damage is freezing and thawing cycles resulting
from fluctuating temperature and the use of deicers either applied
or dripping off automobiles which have traveled on the streets salted
by the county or state. During the thaw, moisture penetrates the
surface. During the freeze, the moisture expands, and increases the
size of the voids which allows more water to penetrate during the next
freeze. Sooner or later, a piece pops off the surface and scales. Each
time this occurs, this surface is weakened and more and more damage can
result. Another problem which occurred this year was the damage caused
by the physical abuse from mechanically trying to break the ice loose.
The best way to protect the concrete surfaces is as follows:
- Seal the concrete with a high quality concrete sealer such
as "Tiah" available at Breckenridge Material Company. The sealer
should be applied at least two (2) times per year, once in the
spring and once in the fall. The concrete surface should be
clean and dry for good adhesion and the product can be applied
with a sprayer or roller or sponge mop.
- Avoid the use of exposure to deicers as much as possible.
However, if they must be used, immediately clean them off the
surface once the ice has been removed and make sure the water
which will result from further thawing can drain away from the
PROTECT YOUR CONCRETE DRIVEWAY
In an effort to educate you on the proper maintenance of your driveway,
Hayden Homes advises new home owners to read the following information.
- DON'T USE ANY DEICERS 1ST YEAR
Don't use any deicing chemical the first winter under any circumstances.
The only safe material to use to make the concrete surface skid resistant
is plain sand.
(Sealer should be applied as soon as possible after closing on your new
home. As a general rule, concrete poured after November 1 should not be
sealed until the following summer).
- USE SAND (PLAIN) ANYTIME
- NEVER USE DEICERS CONTAINING AMMONIUM NITRATE OR AMMONIUM SULFATE
These chemicals are often packaged and sold as deicers but they will
rapidly disintegrate concrete.
- AFTER FIRST WINTER, IF SODIUM CHLORIDE OR CALCIUM CHLORIDE ARE TO BE
USED AS DEICERS APPLY A CONCRETE SEALER IN THE FALL FOR PROTECTION ALL
Under certain conditions, deicers which contain sodium chloride (common salt)
or calcium chloride may be used after the first winter. Even then it is
recommended that a surface sealer be applied in the fall. Check with your
builder for sealers. These can be painted or sprayed on.
(Sealer with a solids content of at least 20% should be applied before each
winter for maximum protection. Sealers of this type can be purchased at
Hill Behan Lumber Company on Highway 94 and O'Fallon Road).