Complete Guide to Concrete in 2020
Concrete is an exceptional material that offers durability to any infrastructure and in most cases, is a suitable, long lasting product without maintenance. So, you might be surprised when the topic of maintaining concrete is brought up.
Concrete maintenance and repair services help out in ensuring durability for your concrete. Once the concrete has been poured and cured, the aging process begins. When that happens, the surface starts getting undermined by many factors like exposure to extreme temperatures, traffic, vehicle use and weather that will eventually cause cracks and holes.
Without ongoing preventative maintenance, the cracks and holes will get progressively worse shortening the life of the structure. Concrete does require some preventative maintenance every 3-5 years. However, preventative maintenance is designed to fix small problems not structural problems, that’s why it is so important to prioritize prevention.
CONCRETE SEALERS: WHERE TO START?
Sealing your concrete is the first step to keep your concrete surface protected from water damage caused by freeze/thaw cycles, stains from dirt, de-icing salts, oil and other contaminants. It is essential to make sure your concrete gets sealed to keep it pristine.
There are multiple types of concrete sealing, and the basics may vary depending on the weather. Important things to keep in consideration:
- Safety: ensure the sealer does not cause slips or falls. Also, check if the sealer emits harmful fumes during application, especially on indoor projects.
- Appearance: sealers come in multiple finishes and sheen, ranging from satin to glossy. This will interfere in the color enrichment of your project, so keep in mind: The higher the gloss level, the greater the degree of color enrichment.
- Performance: Choose a sealer that will protect your concrete from the traffic conditions and elements it’ll be exposed to.
Keep in mind that the stability, durability and maintenance necessities will vary from sealer to sealer, so you need to confirm that the system is compatible with whatever surface treatment you may be applying it to.
SEALING CONCRETE IN COLD OR HOT WEATHER: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW.
The minimum temperature needed when applying for most concrete sealers and coatings is 50 F°. All sealers and coatings having a minimum film-forming temperature, meaning that if the temperature falls below that, the cross-linking does not occur and the sealer film does not come together properly which will result in the sealer showing white dusting, hazing and delaminating. That’s why it’s advised to use an outdoor thermometer and an infrared temperature gun to get accurate concrete surface temperature readings.
In addition, it is important to keep in mind that naturally, temperature works as a catalyst which means that the colder the temperature gets, the slower the sealer will cure. Using a sealer with a fast solvent is highly recommended. Every environmental factor must be considered individually in every project to ensure the success of the objectives and avoid resealing.
The typical recommended surface temperature for sealing ranges from 50 F° to 90 F°. A sealer curing too fast will result in bubbles due to the liquid part of the sealing rapidly evaporating, in those cases, it is advised to avoid sealing during daytime and if possible, also during the hot months.
DO YOU WANT TO KEEP YOUR CONCRETE LOOKING LIKE NEW?
- Keep it clean: it is important that you clean your concrete areas on a regular basis, at least once per year, in order to remove normal dirt, rust, other stains and grime built up over time.
- Repair cracks on time: to preserve the structure of your concrete stable and minimize water trespassing through cracks, which can cause problems with the sub grade.
- Seal the Concrete Surface: this prevents abrasion by making the concrete resistance to UV sunlight. It also helps to repel water and keep the surface, dust proof.
WHAT CAN R&R CHICAGO PROPERTY SERVICES DO FOR YOUR CONCRETE?
Our company offers a number of preventative maintenance and repair options for your concrete such as:
- Protective Coat Application: epoxy coatings that protect the concrete from deterioration and provides an attractive finish.
- Power Washing: made with techniques that suits the requirements of every project, ensuring the safety and providing the most aesthetically pleasing results.
- Sealing: which covers the pores in the concrete and creates a protective layer that avoids the absorption of water and salt that damages your concrete area.
- Concrete Stabilization: repairing uneven concrete.
- Grinding: fixing two joining parts of concrete areas when one side is too high.
- Patching: fixing small pieces or areas of loose concrete, commonly using hydraulic cement.
- Crack filling: fixing the first sign of a crack to avoid further erosion of the concrete structure.
And many more….
For preventative maintenance services to be actually effective and less expensive, regular monitoring is advised.
Contact us if you have any other questions or for a free quote. R&R Chicago Property Services we will be more than happy to be your guide.