Concrete is a durable material but not immune from the elements.
Colder temperatures can cause significant damage to your outdoor concrete floors. You may notice cracks and spalling, indicating that concrete has sustained damage due to the freezing temperatures.
If you notice any of these issues with your outdoor concrete, take steps to repair it as soon as possible before it gets worse!
What Are the Effects of Winter on Outdoor Concrete Floors?
Some damaging effects of winter weather on outdoor concrete floors include:
Spalling occurs when moisture accumulates between outdoor concrete floors and reinforcement steel. This causes corrosion in the steel and eventually leads to concrete breaking off from its surface.
The spall is usually quite small but can be large if it goes through the slab. You can avoid spalling by using a high-quality concrete mix with enough cement content and proper curing techniques after pouring the concrete.
Another problem that occurs when it gets cold outside is cracking or shrinkage. This happens when water traps inside of cracks in your concrete and freezes, causing it to expand or contract.
Concrete shrinks more than other materials because it has no pores for air pockets like wood or metal. This makes it crack more easily than those materials during winter, leading to potholes and cracks forming on roadways and sidewalks.
In the winter, scaling can be a problem with outdoor concrete floors.
Scaling occurs when the top layers of your concrete lose their protective coating or mortar topping and leave the aggregate particles exposed on top. This can happen in the winter when water gets inside cracks in the concrete. The water freezes and expands, breaking apart the concrete and causing it to scale off.
You can prevent scaling by covering your concrete with anti-scaling paint during cold weather. If you have experienced some scaling, remove it by brushing off the loose chips with a wire brush or vacuuming them off with your vacuum cleaner.
How To Prepare and Maintain Concrete for Winter
Protect Your Concrete Patio From Ice
Ensure that you protect your outdoor concrete floors from ice by using a de-icing product. Don’t use salt, which can cause damage to your concrete. Instead, try an anti-icer, liquid anti-icer spray, or sand that will melt ice without damaging the surface beneath it.
To prevent ice buildup on patios, sidewalks, and driveways:
- Do not allow snow or ice to accumulate on your patio surface (you can remove it by using a shovel or broom)
- Make sure any drainage systems remain clear so that water does not pool on the surface
Avoid Using Salt on Your Outdoor Concrete Patio
Salt is not ideal for use on outdoor concrete floors. This is because it can erode the surface of this material over time, causing it to flake off or crack apart in chunks.
If you must use salt on sidewalks or driveways near your concrete patio, then do so only sparingly and never apply more than necessary! Otherwise, you will end up creating long-term problems later down the road when it begins raining.
Apply a Sealant To Prevent Water From Seeping Through Cracks
Use a sealer or polish for maintenance-free protection against stains and damage from rain or snowmelt. Be sure to clean off any dirt or debris from your outdoor concrete floors before applying these treatments, so they have something to bond with!
This will help keep moisture at bay so that it doesn’t freeze into ice that can damage your patio furniture or even crack underneath the surface over time if left untreated. However, sealants won’t prevent freezing altogether; they just limit how much water traps itself there during cold snaps.
Protect Your Outdoor Concrete With Expert Services in the Metro Washington, DC, Area
Winter weather can be brutal on a concrete patio. Cold weather can cause dangerous cracks and slippery surfaces. If you want to protect your investment, call on the outdoor concrete repair specialists at Skyline Concrete Coating.
We specialize in restoring and repairing outdoor concrete floors with a focus on concrete patios, sidewalks, and driveways.
We work with residential and commercial customers throughout the Washington, DC, metro area, including Montgomery County, MD, and Prince George’s County, MD. All our new residential polyurea base coats and polyaspartic top coats come with a 15-year limited lifetime warranty.
Call Skyline Concrete Coating at (571) 831-2144 to learn more about our outdoor concrete floor services or request an estimate online!