Taking Care of Your Stamped Concrete Driveway In Winter
Heavy rains, snow, ice, salt, and the freeze-thaw cycles that come with Surrey’s winter weather, can wreak havoc on stamped concrete driveways.
Concrete is porous, allowing it to absorb water. When temperatures drop below 0°C, water freezes and expands. When they rise above 0°C, it thaws and shrinks. That constant shift over the winter season can cause significant damage to concrete surfaces. Fortunately there are some steps you can take to prepare and protect your concrete driveway.
How to winterize my stamped concrete driveway
Clean it--make sure leaves and other debris are swept away to avoid stains and trapping moisture on the surface.
Repair cracks--fill cracks with a flexible substance like epoxy or urethane.
Reseal it--sealant has a lifespan depending on the product and the conditions your driveway is subject to. It may be time for resealing to best protect the surface and colour.
Is it OK to use salt on my stamped concrete driveway and walkways?
It’s that time of year when ice and snow make your driveway and walkways hazardous, not just for you and your family but for visitors and service providers too. With everyone’s safety in mind you might choose to spread a little salt along the paths. But this is not a good idea if you have stamped concrete underneath.
Salt is a convenient way to melt ice and snow, but it can damage stamped concrete. Salt holds moisture which can work its way into the surface pores. When it freezes, it expands, causing peeling and flaking (known as spalling). Additionally, even if the surface has since dried, salt crystals remain behind. The next time your driveway or sidewalk gets wet, those crystals expand again and cause further damage.
What can I use to clear ice and snow from my stamped concrete?
- A broom--sweep away light levels of snow.
- A plastic shovel--be sure there’s no metal edge; metal will damage the surface of stamped concrete.
- Sand--a sprinkle of sand is perfect and safe for adding traction, and can just be swept away later.
- Deicer--if you must use a chemical deicer, choose one that is salt-free.
At Pacific Rock and Concrete Design, we use a lithium densifier, which helps prevent issues with salt erosion, moisture migration, and the freeze-thaw cycle. To help maintain the strength and integrity of your stamped concrete, winterizing is a must. If you have any questions or would like to book an appointment, contact us. We are located in Surrey, and we’re here to help!