New year, new resolutions. For all you savvy homeowners looking to keep your property in tip-top shape, the turn of the calendar brings the perfect opportunity to recommit to routine maintenance.
While visions of spring gardening may still be a few months away, your concrete driveway, walkways, and patio need attention now to ensure they stand up to whatever weather the next year brings.
We have created a complete concrete care checklist to help you prep your property for whatever comes in 2024. Start this month off strong, and your concrete furniture will thank you – no cracks, stains, or damage in sight. A few simple steps are all it takes to keep your concrete looking as pristine as the freshly fallen January snow.
Inspect Concrete for Cracks and Damage
Now that the holiday fever is waning, it’s time to give your concrete a checkup. January’s cold temperatures can cause damage if left unchecked, so get out there and inspect for any cracks or flaws.
Check for Visible Cracks
Perform a visual inspection of all concrete slabs, driveways, patios, and walkways. Look for any cracks on the surface, no matter how small. Measure the width of cracks using a crack gauge to determine severity. Even hairline cracks should be sealed to prevent water damage.
Test for Hidden Cracks
Not all cracks are visible. Use dye penetrant testing to check for subsurface cracks. Apply dye to the concrete surface to see if it seeps into unseen cracks. This allows you to find and seal cracks before significant damage occurs.
Clean and Seal
Pressure wash concrete to remove built-up dirt and grime. Once dry, apply a concrete sealer. Sealers protect concrete from water damage and prevent surface cracks. Re-seal concrete every 2-3 years to maintain protection.
Make repairs for minor surface damage like spalls, pits, or popouts. Chip out damaged areas, clean and rough up the surface, then patch with a concrete filler compound. Smooth and level the patch before it dries.
Following these steps, each January will keep your concrete in great shape for years. A quick inspection and some minor maintenance now will save you from costly replacement and repair down the road. Make this January the start of an annual and complete concrete care routine!
Re-Seal Concrete To Prevent Water Damage
A strong, well-maintained foundation is key to protecting your concrete furniture, so follow these complete concrete care tips to ensure it’s sealed and secured against winter weather.
Re-Seal Cracks and Crevices
Patch any cracks in walkways, driveways or foundations with concrete sealant or caulk to prevent water seepage. For minor cracks, a latex or silicone sealant should do the trick. For larger cracks or damage, use a concrete patch compound. Let the sealant dry completely, then apply a coat of concrete sealer over the top.
Refresh Your Finish
Has your concrete developed stains or a dull, worn appearance over time? A concrete resurfacer or refinisher can restore the surface and provide a protective seal. Clean the area, then apply an acrylic or epoxy-based resurfacer with a paintbrush or roller. Multiple thin coats are better than one thick coat. Re-seal the resurfaced area once dry.
Seal Out Moisture
The number one cause of concrete damage is water absorption and exposure. Protect your concrete from the elements by applying an acrylic or silicone-based concrete sealer and waiting for each coat to dry between applications. For the best protection, use a penetrating sealer for porous concrete like driveways and walkways or a durable finish like polyurethane for high-traffic areas.
Following these key steps in January will ensure your concrete foundations are sealed and secured for the year ahead. Staying on a regular maintenance schedule will keep your concrete looking fresh and prevent costly damage down the road.
More New Year Property Maintenance Tips
New Year brings new motivation to get organized and stay on top of home maintenance. Here are a few tips that can help ensure the safety and longevity of your property or concrete furniture:
Check Handrails and Guardrails
Double-check that guardrails on balconies, landings, and ramps meet these standards. Handrails make stairs and ramps safer for all users, so inspect them to ensure they are properly secured and haven’t become loose or damaged.
Shovel Snow Properly
While snow looks picturesque, leaving it piled on concrete elements causes damage. Shovel walkways, driveways, and patios after snowfall. Use a plastic shovel and sweep away remaining snow or ice patches to prevent salting. Melting and refreezing water seeps into cracks and pores, accelerating deterioration.
Plan for Spring Projects
Use the winter downtime to plan landscaping or hardscaping projects for spring. Dreaming of a new patio or walkway? Start designing now and contact contractors for estimates so you’re ready to go once the weather permits. A little planning means you can hit the ground running as soon as spring arrives!
Following these steps will ensure your concrete remains solid and safe for years of use. Here’s to a New Year and a freshly motivated start to home maintenance.
New Year, Stronger Concrete
Even though January may not seem like the most inspiring month, use that burst of motivation from the New Year to give your concrete elements some much-needed TLC.
Tackle that checklist of small but complete concrete care tasks to ensure your walkways, driveways, and patios are ready for whatever the next 11 months bring.
Give your concrete a solid start to the year, and it will reward you for the rest of it. Make this January the month you recommit to concrete care. Your budget, property value and curb appeal will all thank you for it.
Need help or advice for your concrete maintenance? Call the pros at TNA Concrete. We’re here to help keep your concrete strong all year long.