Concrete Maintenance Tips for Edmonton Winters

Concrete Maintenance Tips for Edmonton Winters

Winters in Edmonton can be unforgiving. The snow, ice and freezing temperatures take their toll on everything; the concrete slabs around your home or business are different. Winter weather conditions in Edmonton can wreak havoc on your concrete driveway, walkway, patio or sidewalk. The good news is there are some easy steps you can take to maintain your concrete during the long Alberta winters! The concrete experts at LVL Concrete Lifting have put together a list of concrete maintenance tips for Edmonton winters to ensure your concrete slabs make it through to spring and beyond! Keep reading to learn more!

Why is Winter Concrete Maintenance Important?

Many home and business owners put much thought into winter concrete maintenance. After all, who wants to be out in the cold all day chipping away at ice and shovelling? However, performing regular maintenance tasks on the concrete slabs around your property during the winter is the best way to keep them in good condition for years to come. As the snow and ice freezes and thaws, it can cause cracks and spalling on the surface of your concrete front steps, walkway, driveway, sidewalk or patio. Cracks and spalling are not just unsightly; they can lead to safety hazards and structural problems. Snow and ice build-up can also have other effects on concrete slabs, such as causing them to sink and settle when spring arrives. As the ice and snow melt in the spring, the meltwater can get underneath concrete slabs, wash away the subgrade and create voids. This will lead to uneven and cracked concrete surfaces that will create tripping hazards. Winter concrete maintenance is the easiest way to keep people on your property safe and prevent your concrete from becoming damaged beyond repair. It might seem like a lot of effort, but it will save you money on replacement costs and many headaches when spring arrives.

Remove Snow and Ice As Soon As You Can.

The easiest and most effective way to keep your concrete slabs in good condition during the winter is to remove snow and ice as soon as it forms. Snow and ice removal prevents water from pooling on the slab's surface and helps to prevent water damage. Water pooling on the surface of slabs can lead to spalling (small pieces of concrete flaking off). Spalling can lead to more severe problems like cracking, sinking and settling. The longer you leave snow and ice on your concrete slabs, the more likely they will be affected by these issues, which could lead to you having to replace the slab entirely, which is very expensive. Shovelling after a snowfall will protect your concrete slabs from the damaging effects of snow and ice and keep your concrete slabs safe and easy to walk and drive on.

Avoid Using Rock Salt, Calcium Chloride and Chemical De-icers.

Although it may seem like an easy way to get rid of ice, you should never use rock salt, calcium chloride or chemical de-icers on your concrete slabs. Ice-melting salts with potassium, calcium or magnesium can cause your concrete slabs to flake and scale. This will make it easier for water to penetrate the slab and cause cracks. The use of ice-melting salts can be very damaging to your concrete. It is also not recommended to use chemical de-icers to remove ice on your concrete slabs. Most chemical de-icers contain ingredients that can damage your slabs and cause structural issues, much like salts. Chemical de-icers can also be harmful to the environment if they get into the soil. A better way to deal with ice and snow on your concrete slabs is to use sand or gravel instead of salt and chemical de-icers to make your concrete safer in the winter.

Remove Salt Deposits From Your Concrete.

Even if you don't personally use ice-melting salt on your concrete, it can still end up there. Cars and people will often carry salt deposits in the slush that sticks to the bottom of shoes and cars. If you notice this slush on your concrete, you should remove it as soon as possible to keep it from damaging your slabs. Keeping salt deposits off your driveway will help extend the life of your concrete and avoid problems like flaking, scaling and cracking. Using a pressure washer is the most effective way to remove salt deposits, but this isn't usually possible during an Edmonton winter. Instead, try using a broom or shovel to remove these salt deposits and keep your concrete slabs in good condition.

LVL Concrete Lifting Can Help With Your Concrete Lifting Needs!

As you can see, winter can be harsh on concrete slabs; this is why winter concrete maintenance is so essential. It is even more important if your concrete slabs have signs of wear, such as cracks, as they will likely get worse as winter goes on. We know it might seem like a lot of extra work, but it is well worth it to extend the life of your concrete slabs. Hopefully, you found these winter concrete maintenance tips helpful! And as always, if you see any signs of sinking and settling with your concrete slabs, LVL Concrete Lifting is here to help! We provide concrete lifting and levelling services to businesses and homeowners in Edmonton and the surrounding area! If the concrete slabs on your property need a lift, contact us today!