Concrete that gets pits and holes in it is referred to as "spalled." Spalled concrete is unattractive. It also creates a rough, uneven surface to walk on, which means that spalled concrete can also be dangerous. Knowing what causes this condition and how you can prevent it will help you maintain your property's concrete.
What causes concrete to get pits and holes in it?
Spalling frequently occurs during freeze/thaw cycles. Water that is absorbed by the concrete will expand when it freezes, which can cause the concrete to split apart.
How can you prevent this from happening?
You can prevent concrete from spalling by preventing it from absorbing water (especially in winter). To prevent water absorption, do the following:
- Avoid using de-icing salt. De-icing salt turns snow and ice into melted water, and also attracts more water to the area. Therefore, avoiding the use of de-icing salt can prevent unwanted water from puddling on the concrete.
- Use a concrete sealer. Concrete sealer forms a waterproof barrier that prevents puddles on the concrete from being absorbed into the walkway.
Can you seal your own concrete?
Yes, you can seal your own concrete. Start by purchasing your concrete sealer. You can buy concrete sealer at a hardware store, or you can buy concrete sealer online. To seal concrete, follow this procedure:
- Spray down the walkway with a power washer.
- Mix a solution of bleach and water. Use oxygen bleach if you're worried about the bleach damaging your landscaping.
- Dip a long-handled brush into the bleach and water solution. If possible, use a non-metallic long-handled brush.
- Scrub down the concrete with the long-handled brush.
- Allow the concrete to dry for one or two days.
- Pour the concrete sealer into a roller pan.
- Dip a long-handled rolling brush into the roller pan.
- Roll on the first application of concrete sealer using the paint roller.
- Allow the paint sealer to dry for the period of time specified by the concrete sealer manufacturer.
- Apply more coats of sealer as needed.
How long does concrete sealer last?
This depends on the type of sealer that you purchase. You can tell when concrete sealer is working by the way the water beads up on the surface of the concrete. When water starts being absorbed into the concrete instead of beading up, it's time replace your sealer.
For more information about sealing your own concrete, contact a customer service representative at a company that sells concrete sealer and other concrete accessories. Your customer service representative can answer your questions and recommend helpful products.