Winter-related concrete damage is common here in Northern Utah, and it typically shows itself as spring approaches.
While you might enjoy our snowy, frosty weather, your concrete fares less well. Once the winter months have passed and the warm weather has arrived, you might notice that your outdoor slabs have cracked or settled. If so, now is the time to take action, to keep the problem from getting worse.
How Winter Weather Causes Concrete Damage
To the naked eye, concrete surfaces appear strong and solid. In reality, however, this material is rather porous. Under a microscope, you can see tons of tiny holes, which allow water to penetrate the slab. Whenever it rains or snows, more water penetrates the surface and, if the temperature drops below freezing, it can damage the concrete.
If the ground freezes, the water inside the slab does, too. As water freezes, it expands – you’ve no doubt noticed the effect when you overfill the ice cube trays. This expansion creates pressure within the slab, which compromises the structural integrity and leads to cracking and settlement.
When the water inside the slab starts to thaw, the concrete can also begin to flake. With repeated freeze-and-thaw cycles – a common occurrence during our Northern Utah winters – the damage can grow progressively worse.
How to Limit Concrete Damage Next Winter
You can’t control the weather, so you can’t prevent winter-related damage. However, you may be able to limit the effect that successive freeze-and-thaw cycles have on your concrete.
Applying a penetrating sealer that bonds to concrete surfaces may help. A sealer makes it more difficult for water to get inside a slab – and less water penetration means less freeze-and-thaw damage.
Also consider using sand or fine gravel for traction instead of deicing salts. Deicers can increase winter-related damage, as they turn ice and snow into a salty slush that can easily penetrate the slab.
How to Repair Winter-Related Concrete Damage
In most cases, winter-related damage can be repaired – and mudjacking is the most affordable solution.
The mudjacking process involves pumping a cement slurry through several strategically-placed holes in the damaged concrete surface. The mixture fills voids in the underlying soil, and the resulting pressure lifts the slab back to a stable, level position.
Mudjacking is quick, affordable and effective, and the repair typically lasts for about a decade. And, once the cracks and mudjacking holes are sealed, winter-related damage is barely visible.
If you find concrete damage this spring, consider having it repaired as soon as possible to stop the problem from getting worse. You’ll want to hire a highly-qualified mudjacking contractor, one with a proven repair record, exceptional customer service and affordable pricing. In the greater Salt Lake City area, that contractor is Lift Right Concrete.
As the leading Northern Utah mudjacking contractor for over ten years, Lift Right Concrete has the expertise to provide an effective repair solution for winter-related concrete damage. For a free mudjacking consultation, contact our West Jordan or Grantsville office today.