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Why Concrete Cracks and How to Protect It

Cracked concrete is not only displeasing to look at, but it can become dangerous to walk and drive on as the cracking increases over time. There are several primary causes for cracking in concrete, and most of them are avoidable to an extent. As concrete surfaces age, they tend to become structurally compromised, and these compromises tend to happen faster with no maintenance. Our aim in this post is to give you a better understanding of why concrete cracks and how to protect it.

Freeze-Thaw Cycles

Winter weather is one of the primary reasons that concrete cracks. Concrete acts like a sponge; the pores on the surface take in moisture that seeps beneath the surface. When moisture is absorbed into concrete and freezes, it can expand the concrete by up to 9%. When this happens, the water will spread out in the concrete with nowhere to go. The expansion occurring inside the concrete will eventually lead to cracking, chipping, and pitting after enough of these freeze-thaw cycles. Additionally, salt and other anti-melting agents can cause surface damage that adds to the issue.

When concrete cracks and those cracks expand over time, the surface can be too far gone to have it leveled and would need replacing— and this process is extremely expensive. For example, the average driveway is around 1,200 square feet. If this concrete needed to be replaced, it would cost upwards of $7,200. Washing and sealing your concrete costs pennies on the dollar in comparison. Clean Sweep's Concrete Wash and Seal uses safe pressure to flush out the pores of your concrete before applying a premium, proprietary sealer to strengthen your concrete from within.

Protecting New Concrete

After pouring new concrete on your property, one of your primary focuses should be to maintain the surface and maximize its lifespan. Washing the concrete regularly helps keep contaminants that could damage the exterior of the concrete at bay. Newer concrete should be treated very delicately and washed with very low pressure and specialized detergents that remove surface dirt, mildew, and mold.

Though the curing agent on newer concrete will naturally fade over time, washing the surface can expedite that process. After having your concrete washed, you should consider having a protective sealer applied to the surface. In terms of strengthening and protecting the concrete from the inside, a siloxane sealer is an excellent option. While siloxane does not change the way the concrete looks, it penetrates the pores of the concrete, strengthens it from within, and helps protect it from freeze-thaw conditions.

How to Fix Cracks in Concrete

Once concrete cracks, there are several steps you can take to remedy the situation. If you wanted something more cost-effective, you can purchase some supplies to fill in the area and mask it. Though this solution doesn’t require placing new concrete in those cracks, it provides a short-term cosmetic solution. In some scenarios, which are out of one’s control, the ground underneath the concrete can shift at the control joint. This creates a situation where you need to have your concrete surface leveled. The average cost to have a concrete slab leveled is between $500-$1,500.

Why Clean Sweep?

You should now have a better understanding of why concrete cracks and how to protect it. When it comes to protecting your property, especially your concrete, the professionals at Perfect Power Wash have you covered. We have spent the past twenty years beautifying and protecting properties using the safest and most effective processes. For a free stimate, call our team today!

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