Ongoing Care & Maintenance
One of the benefits of concrete is how little maintenance and care is needed to keep it in good condition. Thorough cleaning and sealing every 1-2 years is one of the tried and true methods to increase the lifespan of your concrete. Other key maintenance tasks are:
+ Keep your concrete surface clean.
+ Think twice about where to plant that tree or shrub. Be careful to allow proper distance for plantings as roots can cause cracking and heaving of your concrete driveway, sidewalk or patio.
+ Clean up spills as quickly as possible to prevent permanent staining.
+ Remove oil stains by dabbing paint or lacquer thinner placed on a cloth. It is not recommended to pour the solvent directly on the concrete as that could remove the sealer as well as the stain.
+ Another option is to place cat litter or corn starch on the stain to help leach it out of the concrete.
+ Remove fertilizer, leaves, and plant debris as soon as possible to avoid staining.
+ Avoid Salt and Deicers. Deicers that contain sodium chloride (salt), ammonium nitrate or ammonium sulfate will cause rapid disintegration to concrete surfaces. Clean sand or kitty litter are the best alternatives to add traction to icy surfaces. These products aid snow and ice removal but will not cause damage to concrete surfaces.
+ Some salt and deicers will be dragged on to your driveway from highways and streets – this is why it is a good idea to seal your concrete every one to two years.
+ Avoid heavy loads. Keep excessively heavy trucks and equipment off your driveway. Concrete is durable, but it is not intended to support heavy trucks or large equipment.
Concrete Care & Maintenance
At Akerly Concrete Construction, we appreciate your business; and want to see you enjoy your investment for years to come. Proper care & maintenance are essential to extending the life of your concrete. Please take a few moments to become familiar with what we recommend.
Initial Care for New Concrete
Once our crew completes your project, your concrete will not be ready for use for several days.
After your concrete project is poured, our crew will give specific instructions about what you need to know and do for the first few days. Every project varies due to job specifics and the current season as well as the specific weather immediately following your concrete project.
The curing period: Curing time may vary depending on the temperature and moisture levels present during and right after your project. We strongly recommend that you allow your driveway to cure completely prior to driving vehicles on it. Please ask our crew for their recommendations for your particular project. A surface that is properly cured will develop a surface that is up to twice as hard as a surface that has not fully cured.
The first two months: Be extra careful not to strike or ding your new concrete the first 60 days. The edges will be especially vulnerable to chipping so landscaping tools should be used with care.
Sealing your concrete
As part of your project, Akerly Concrete Construction will provide the initial application of sealant unless otherwise stated. Concrete sealant creates a protective barrier that assists in keeping moisture and corrosive substances from penetrating your concrete. Keeping the overall surface and structure intact will allow your concrete to last longer and look better.
After your initial project is complete, you are responsible for your concrete maintenance; and should seal your concrete every 1-2 years. Sealing prevents staining and fills concrete pores creating a waterproof barrier. Preventing water and frost penetration will prevent damage and make your concrete easier to clean. You can tell that it is time to reapply sealant when water is easily absorbed into the concrete and makes the surface noticeably darker in color. If your sealant is still working properly, water will bead up instead of being absorbed.
For existing concrete, start with a clean surface. Gently clean your concrete surface with a power washer or hose and stiff bristle broom. It is imperative to remove surface pollutants and debris to ensure that your sealer adheres properly.