Cleaning your concrete periodically and keeping it sealed are the key components of any good maintenance program. How often you clean and reseal will largely depend on the conditions the concrete is exposed to, especially weather extremes, sunlight intensity, and the amount of foot and vehicle traffic. It is recommended to maintain or re-seal as necessary. By waiting too long, you will notice the color start to face slightly. Just like waxing a car, reseal your stamped concrete and the color will be as vibrant as the day it was installed. When it is time to reseal your concrete, power wash, and let dry totally, use a leaf blower to make sure the surface is clean and that moisture is out of the control expansion lines. Sometime the existing sealer can be rejuvenated by using “xylene”, the xylene is a solvent base acrylic which re-emulsifies the existing sealer and makes the concrete look good again. If sealer is needed at this point, apply it with a paint roller, thin is better, do not over apply. To reduce slip-page, anti-skid additive can be put in the sealer. Use solvent base sealers on exterior work. If a white haze is noticed on your concrete, moisture is the culprit. Moisture is trapped under the sealer. Using “xylene” will remove the white haze.
Water can be a big problem for concrete. Good run off is important to insure concrete stays in good conditions. Rainspouts are often the source of concrete problems, especially in the winter. Water gets under the concrete and with freeze thaw cycles, concrete lifts and may crack. Make sure rainspouts are piped away and that your grading is sloped away also.
Do not use deicers to completely melt snow or ice. Instead, use deicers to make the removal of snow and ice easier. Deicers melt down through the snow and ice to the hard surface, then spread out underneath. This undercuts and loosens the snow, so shoveling can be done. Ice melting chemicals can damage concrete surfaces if not careful, - primarily scaling and spawling, - this is where small flakes of concrete come loose from the surface by forcing the thawing and refreezing of concentrated amounts of deicing agent residue. These materials refreeze at 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Sweep or shovel excess ice melt off concrete to avoid problems. Moreover, New Concrete is more susceptible to the harmful effects of ice melt. We only recommend the use of sand for traction, especially for the first few years.
ITS CONCRETE, WON’T IT CRACK?
Absolutely, but with rare exceptions, only where we “tell” it to. Simply put, concrete is a mixture of sand, cement, and aggregate that is made workable by the addition of water. As the concrete cures and this water hydrates from the concrete, it tends to build up considerable stress. This stress is relieved by cracking. We "tell" it where to crack, by providing relatively discreet joints that are saw cut into specified depths and other tolerances, for joint placement, as established by the American Concrete Institution (ACI). These joints create a weak plane in the concrete slab that readily relieves these natural stresses. The actual crack is located at the bottom on the joint and is not visible. We hide the saw cuts in the pattern. Rare, but occasionally, hairline cracks outside the control joint will occur. They do not affect the integrity of the concrete slab.
Integral color is a pigment in powder or liquid form that is added in to the concrete that adds color through the whole slab. It does not increase the strength or the concrete.
Color hardener is comprised of cement and metallic aggregate. Color hardener is tossed or broadcasted over a concrete surface that is in a plastic state. The advantage of color hardener is its durability. Color hardener is a layer that can be up to 1/8” thick and have compression strength up to 8,000 PSI, which is twice the strength of the concrete base. The surface is now stronger and more wear resistant than regular concrete, the surface is also less permeable, preventing the intrusion of water, salts, and other stains.
A combination of both methods is best and achieves a better overall product.
PATRICK BREEN MASONRY & CONCRETE LLC - (PBM&C LLC.) installs concrete flatwork in accordance with the American Concrete Institute - (ACI) guidelines that are recognized as the industry standards. Patrick Breen is a certified ACI concrete flatwork technician. Our concrete crews follow the recommended practices set forth by the American Concrete Institute for the installation of quality flatwork.
PATRICK BREEN MASONRY & CONCRETE LLC - (PBM&C LLC.) for a period of one year warrants that any cracking in excess of 1/8” resulting from defects in materials or workmanship shall be repaired or replaced. PBM&C llc. makes no claim that hairline cracks might not develop, but insures that every precaution is taken to minimize their occurrence by using approved methods and quality materials. Clients acknowledges the importance of periodic maintenance, effects of de-icer’s on concrete, overloading and proper drainage.