Tips to Winterize Outdoor Concrete
This week officially marks the end of summertime fun and DIY projects for most. No matter what project you worked on this summer, you want and expect lasting results. Making plans to winterize outdoor concrete before the snow arrives is essential maintenance. During the winter, the moisture in the concrete freezes and thaws as the temperature fluctuates, causing the water in the concrete to expand and contract several times in the course of a season. This stresses the concrete and can lead to cracking or sealer damage.
Here are a couple of helpful tips to winterize outdoor concrete projects:
Seal or Reseal Existing Concrete: If your exterior concrete was originally sealed with an acrylic sealer 3+ years ago, we recommend resealing before the cold weather hits. If you can’t remember which products you’ve used in the past, give us a call at 877-255-2656 and we can help. If you’ve never sealed your outdoor concrete, consider applying the Sprayable Satin Finish Acrylic Sealer for a glossy yet safe for use finish on exterior concrete that requires reapplication every 2-3 years depending on climate, use and exposure to sun. For smoother concrete, the Penetrating Lithium Hardener Sealer is a one-time only application product perfect for very cold weather climates and is a great salt-proofer protecting concrete from damage caused by constant exposure to road salts.
Protect Outdoor Concrete Countertops and Decor: Make sure that your outside concrete countertops and outdoor entertainment areas are protected from the harsh winter weather. Because countertops are thinner, 1 ½ in. in most cases, than concrete slabs, it’s important to keep them covered when winter precipitation is on the way. Plastic tarps are ideal but be careful not to apply tape directly to a sealed surface. The tape adhesive bonds to the sealer and will permanently damage the finish. If you’ve used a Polyurethane sealer would like to re-coat, keep in mind the surface needs to be scuffed with a 600-grit pad and cleaned before re-application. Bring in concrete decor items, like statuary and pots, or cover to protect from the elements.
For more information on sealer application, visit our How-to Guides page.