Canada is known for many things, the sports teams, picturesque landscapes, and fantastic places for food and entertainment. However, come October, a chill in the air begins to set, leaves start to change color, and a sense of knowing that winter is on its way creeps into the air. Canadian winters are not always pleasant unless you are a cold-weather enthusiast. As the cold settles in, we come together and begin protecting our cars, barbecues, outdoor furniture and begin to prepare ourselves for the months ahead. Amongst the cold weather routine we face every year, concrete is also in need of protection. Protecting concrete from Canadian winters should be included on the winter to-do list.

Types of damage concrete may experience:

  • Spalling
  • Cracking
  • Pitting
  • Scratches/scrapes
  • Stain and discoloration

A concrete sealer is your new best friend. A concrete sealer is a protective coating that will prevent water/moisture and de-icing salt from penetrating the concrete pours.  Applying the concrete sealer after the curing process is complete is essential. A sealer will help protect against stains and basic wear and tear, such as scrapes/scratches, spalling, and keeping the appearance in excellent condition.

If you should feel that sealing concrete is unnecessary, think again. Unsealed concrete is vulnerable to damage due to its porous nature. Any liquid/moisture absorbed will expand and contract due to weather climate, leading to cracking and nearly destroying the concrete’s quality.

A sealer will save your pockets, lasting many years. Of course, it all depends on the amount of traffic it experiences. However, considering its life expectancy and the amount of protection the sealer provides, the concrete’s quality will last.

To further protect concrete from Canadian winters, it is advisable to repair any existing damage before resealing. Filling in cracked concrete, repairing a crack as soon as possible is a good idea to prevent further separation. Even small cracks or chips can create some issues. There is no use in slapping on a coat of paint to cover up any imperfections. Those imperfections could lead to further damage.

Any outdoor item or element that is exposed to environmental factors will need protection. Covering smaller concrete objects such as statues, birdbaths, fountains, and stepping stones can extend the quality and protect from environmental damage. Using a tarp or moving the items to a well-covered area such as a garage will ensure protection. Driveways and patios are high traffic areas and an accessible location to experience substantial damage. The best tip for protecting these areas is to avoid using de-icing salt and always remove fallen snow. Allowing snow to pile can lead to thermal shock resulting in internal cracking and excessive moisture once it melts.

Repairs or sealing protection is an easy do-it-yourself project. If you are not as handy, then calling a professional to guide you is the best route. At Stouffville Mobile Redimix, concrete professionals are ready and eager to assist with any concrete concern or question.