Friday, 1 April 2016

How to wash and seal / maintain concrete driveways in freeze thaw climate....

Wash and Sealing of Concrete By Rockscapes Concrete Service

This is a guideline for the restoration and maintenance of concrete. In Saskatoon’s freeze thaw climate, it is particularly important to do proper annual maintenance in order to minimize damage and prolong the life of your concrete. These are some of the techniques that have produced successful results for Rockscapes; we have performed thousands of concrete driveways and / or concrete projects in Saskatoon and area. Other contractors may have different techniques.



Once applied some sealers are virtually impossible to remove.

1)     One of the most useful tips I can offer in our freeze thaw climate is to try to keep your concrete clean (shoveled) and dry during the winter season to keep salty, slushy snow to a minimum, never push salty vehicle salt water from garage and out the door onto your driveway. Especially important with north facing shaded driveways.
2)     Be careful of some of the products out there that say they won’t damage concrete and will melt ice. Sometimes just sprinkling a little clean sand will give that temporary short-term protection required.
3)     Don’t use ice chippers, they will mark or chip your concrete.

WASH THE CONCRETE WITH A PRESSURE WASHER TO RID IT OF MOLD, DIRT, SALT, CRACKS FILLED WITH DIRT ETC. THIS WASH SHOULD BE PERFORMED THE DAY BEFORE YOU INTEND TO SEAL. THE CONCRETE MUST BE COMPLETELY DRY BEFORE APPLYING THE SEALER.  SOME SEALERS WILL WHITEN OR TURN MILKY WITH MOISTURE. (Rope off the area after pressure washing to keep ALL traffic off. The concrete must remain clean of debris for sealing. Otherwise you may trap dirt or debris under the sealer)

·            Exposed Aggregate is prone to rust spots which can be removed to a certain degree
·            Plain broom finish concrete is subject to more pop-outs especially in recent years.
·            Stamped concrete is subject to a colour loss. (Surface release agent colours can peel off with loss of sealer due to salt damage)
All Concrete Driveways, regardless of which style you have, may end up with a few pop-outs, the longer those are left unwashed and unsealed, they will turn into shaled area's over a few years.

Different contractors use different methods of applying sealers including the number of coats applied. At Rockscapes Concrete Service we use 3 coats of concentrated sealer diluted about 30-40% with Xylene. This slows down the curing process and allows the sealer to penetrate the concrete pores and adhere better. Our suppliers sell a version of our sealer that is “ready to use”, pre-diluted and easy to work with.

POPOUTS Source of Information on this can be obtained at concretesask.org Tech Tips Pop outs are caused by lightweight aggregates absorbing moisture and then freezing, expanding and
cracking or popping out of the surface. Fixes are difficult; we recommend keeping your driveway shoveled and dry, annual sealing with acrylic sealers to provide topical protection. Mild winters with less snowfalls, moisture mean less popouts and sealing required. Patches can be done, but may be noticeable. Our suppliers do sell products that can be used to patch concrete pop outs.

RUST MARKS - Very difficult work, we use an angle grinder with a wire wheel; we scrub with a 10% solution of Muriatic acid and rinse this off with clean water. It is important to wear safety gear during this job. (Protect your eyes and skin) Some contractors drill out the rust spots and then clean the rust stains in a similar method.

SEALING CONCRETE

If the concrete is dusting or shaling in any areas I recommend using a densifier sealer in those areas first. At Rockscapes Concrete Service we have used a product from Cornerstone Coatings and believe that it has made a significant difference. This is a water-based product and drying time will be required. After this step an acrylic sealer is applied. (Again Acrylic’s are topical sealers, and create a protective film on the surface.)

I believe in topical sealers (Acrylic) to protect and seal out salt and other destructive chemicals. These can be sprayed using quality sprayers like a Chapin. Again, proper drying time is required before allowing any traffic on the concrete. A guideline is 24 hours for driveways. Walkways and patios can be used once dry to the touch. Outside temperature will be a factor in drying time. During sealing with Acrylic sealers, grit can be sprinkled sparsely to provide traction. On a reseal, we recommend two coats of Acrylic. Most home-owners roll on the sealer with a 15 mil roller, paint tray, and handle. It is very hard to clean Acrylic sealer off your roller, At Rockscapes we dispose of used trays and roller cage handles

Source for buying your products,
Prairie Concrete - 30-3703 Kochar Ave – Saskatoon – 306-343-0770 (Kevin Mapes at Prairie Concrete is a very knowledgeable Concrete Expert )
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Article by John Groves, President Rockscapes Concrete Service. More information can found on Rockscapes at:
rockscapesconcrete.blogspot.ca
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2 comments:

  1. I read your post and i really like your post. Thank you for sharing this post.
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  2. This is a very informative post you have here. We use a similar sealing method for Driveway paving Hornchurch which enhances the look and protects against the elements.

    ReplyDelete