As with all other things in the world, concrete will deteriorate over time. However, there are ways to delay this process and extend the life of your concrete surfaces. Regardless of the type of concrete you use, the same rule applies if you want to extend the life of your concrete structures: You need to employ proper maintenance. Here are some of the best ways you can keep your concrete in good condition for as long as possible:
1. Fix small cracks immediately
It’s a good practice to inspect your concrete structures regularly to look out for signs of cracks. If you spot any, whether big or small, call an expert in concrete repair in Salt Lake City or any other location. They can help you fix cracks so that they don’t cause any more damage to the structure.
When left ignored, small cracks can let moisture seep into the concrete. Consequently, this can cause the concrete to expand and generate more cracks that may be even larger and deeper than the first ones.
2. Apply a sealant
A sealant prevents substances like water, car fluids, chemicals, and other liquids to seep into the concrete or stain it. Thus, applying a sealant will help extend the life of your concrete by protecting it from substances that can break it down or cause corrosion.
Take note that applying a sealant to your concrete isn’t a one-time thing. You need to reapply a layer of sealant every once in a while, especially if the concrete takes a lot of abuse e.g. heavy foot traffic, equipment running over it constantly, exposure to the elements, etc.
3. Plan joints correctly
Construction joints in concrete are common places for moisture to enter, which can cause random cracks, reduced structural integrity, and corrosion of the metal underneath.
You can avoid this by planning your concrete structure with pre-determined joint locations. However, you should also apply a waterproofing system to protect the joint against moisture. A waterproofing system with crystalline tech offers the best protection for joints.
4. Cure concrete completely
Concrete cures to its advertised strength at the thirty-day mark, but will it continue to cure and strengthen during its lifespan. Allow your concrete to cure correctly during the first thirty days after pouring. This means that you need to maintain the ideal conditions as recommended by the manufacturer during this time.
In general, you need to maintain the appropriate temperature and humidity for concrete to cure properly. This will not only help your concrete structure last longer, but it will also avoid drying, cracking, and shrinking as the concrete settles.
5. Clean concrete regularly
Concrete structures need to be cleaned regularly for aesthetic and durability reasons. Clean concrete definitely looks better than dirty, stained, and grimy concrete. However, the importance of cleaning your concrete boils down to its effect on the longevity of the structure. When concrete is cleaned periodically, there will be less dirt, grime, and mildew to work its way into the structure and cause damage from the inside. That said, having a concrete cleaning schedule will certainly help preserve the life of your concrete.
Don’t let your concrete wear away earlier than it should. With these maintenance tips, you can keep your concrete strong and healthy for more decades to come.