You better get that crack in your concrete taken care of before there’s snow on the ground

It’s not going to be long until we get snow around here. Are you prepared for it? Is your concrete prepared?

The concrete outside should be a priority for your winterization plans. It might not be the first thing you think of doing, but it should be something for you to do before it gets too cold outside.

A cracked concrete surface means there’s a greater risk of damage that can occur because of water seeping into the cracks and exerting intense pressure as it freezes. This can lead to a widening of existing cracks and thus weakening the structural stability of concrete.

With slab concrete, the water can go into large cracks and saturate the ground, which leads to a heave upward when water in soil freezes and expands. It can create a potentially dangerous walking surface.

Any time you combine freezing temperatures with precipitation, whether it be rain or snow, it can cause a lot of damage to your concrete. Knowing that, you need to be proactive now. Because once it freezes, you’ll be limited in what you can do.

What to do to fix it?

If you want to repair your concrete yourself and protect it from the cold, there are steps you can take.

1.       For all cracks, the first step is to make sure the concrete is clean. Then, you can patch and repair your concrete. Sealants can help you with that. However, it’s better to do that before it gets too cold outside. Because once it gets cold, it will be very hard to fix it, even if it’s temporary.

2.       Move any concrete statuary into a garage or other shelter. Something like a steppingstone or other concrete fixtures could get damaged in the snow and cold.

3.       For other concrete objects that can’t be moved, it would be wise to securely tie a tarp to it. Sometime like standing water in a concrete bowl can cause a lot of problems. We get that it’s nice to give the birds water in the wintertime. However, it’s better to just have a heated bird bath if you’re trying to make sure the birds that fly around outside get water.

What to do once it gets cold?

The smartest thing you can probably do is avoid using salt for your driveway when it snows. t lowers the freezing point for water. Water can freeze at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. However, when you apply salt, it lowers the freezing point to near 15 degrees Fahrenheit. Depending on where you live, the temperature may be below 15 degrees Fahrenheit. In fact, here in the Midwest, we might have days where the temperature is barely above zero!  On those kinds of bitterly cold days, salt won’t help you keep your driveway free of ice.

Additionally, putting salt on top of your icy concrete requires either sunlight or friction (cars driving on it) to have an effect. You can’t just put salt out on a dark, cloudy day and expect it to work magic.

A little work now can save you headaches later

If you need help, then contact Dry Basement today. We can advise you on keeping your concrete in good shape and help if you already have concrete cracks and uneven pavement to be repaired. We cover most of Missouri, Kansas, and Iowa, with offices in Kansas City, Wichita, Columbia, and Des Moines.