When laying concrete the last thing you want to think about is the next 5-10 years. It’s important to be thinking of the future with concrete so you can rest assured it will look as good as new for as long as possible. There are plenty of challenges that Mother Nature might throw your concrete way, be sure to protect your concrete right or run the risk of having to rely on the short term. If you’re planning to or have just laid concrete on your property, here is a simple guide on how to protect it from the elements.
Find the imperfections
No matter how beautifully poured or smoothed over, there will always be tiny imperfections that can cause much bigger problems. Try using construction grout to fill in any holes you see after you have laid the concrete. These holes may not seem like a big deal at first, but they can turn into serious problems if left unattended. These holes, or voids, will get much worse over time, and ultimately mean you’ll have to replace the concrete. Instead of having to foot the bill to replace your concrete, make sure you fill those goods with grout. Grout helps fill the gap and be sure that your concrete will last much longer than it would if you ignored the problem.
The elements can be varied and difficult things to control, especially on concrete. Instead of leaving the new slab open to the elements, make sure you seal your concrete after it has dried. A sealer is a liquid you put on your concrete that creates somewhat of a film on top. This film helps to protect the concrete from staining, grime and the weather as well. Without a sealer, the concrete can easily be damaged, stained or have a build-up of grime caused by rain, snow, sun or other weather types. Sealing a concrete slab doesn’t have to be over-complicated either, it’s something that can be done yourself. Simply grab a concrete sealer and follow the instruction, with plenty of drying time before anything or anyone interacts with the concrete.
If you have the chance, the easiest way to protect your concrete from the elements is to cover it. Depending on what your new concrete slab is for, there is always the option of building a roof to cover it. You may still get rain that blows in, but the fact your concrete won’t take the full brunt of the weather means it will be much more protected. If you have a driveway then why not make it a carport with a cover to help protect your concrete? If it’s an outdoor area that you are concreting, protect the family and guests from the sun and other weather by adding a roof. It may not seem very practical, but making sure the elements can’t touch your concrete is the best method of protection.
Lay it flat
Before doing anything else, make sure your ground is level and that you will be laying a flat slab of concrete. No matter how much sealer or grout you use, if you lay concrete on an uneven surface, it will move and it will crack. Avoid this by making sure the surface is flat, to help limit the potential movement in the concrete, and avoid any cracks. If your concrete does start to crack, your best bet is to examine whether it’s because the land is moving. If it is, there isn’t a great deal to be done unless you are prepared to relay. Don’t find yourself in that position and protect your concrete from the earth by making sure the ground is level before you start.
Concrete can be a beautiful and low-maintenance addition to any home or business. Concrete isn’t invincible though, and can be impacted by the elements. Rain, sun, flooding and many other types of weather can wreak havoc on your concrete. From cracking to holes and stains, plus everything in between, your concrete is at risk from the elements. To avoid this and to protect your concrete, make sure you use this guide to have concrete that looks as good as the day it was poured, every day.