Category Archives: Winterize
Although concrete is one of the toughest materials around your home or business, it still needs care and maintenance. Sealing your concrete surface is a vital part of protecting your driveway, patio, or sidewalk. Winters in Kansas City, Minnesota, and the rest of the Midwest can cause your concrete surfaces to quickly deteriorate. Replacing concrete is a tedious and expensive process. Depending on the amount of concrete, replacing the slab can cost more than $10,000! Sealing your concrete is a more affordable and easier solution than tearing out and replacing your patio or driveway.
Concrete Surfaces Need Attention
The concrete surfaces around your commercial or residential property play an important role in allowing people to walk, drive, or relax around your home or business. A damaged concrete slab is not only ugly, but it can also be a tripping hazard, in addition to damaging vehicles or equipment. It’s easy to forget about your concrete surfaces, they do their job well with little maintenance. We usually only notice them when there is a problem. Concrete sealing can help keep your surfaces looking nice and prevent damage that can cause problems.
The Basics of Concrete Care
As we said above, harsh winters can give your concrete a beating. Combine the weather with de-icing materials and you have a recipe for a damaged slab. This combination of weather and chemicals can cause a variety of concrete problems, such as concrete spalling and scaling. De-icing material like salt and some chemicals can damage the concrete, allowing water to penetrate below the slab’s surface. If the concrete is unsealed, the water will fill the holes, cracks, and pores of the slab. When the water freezes, it expands, putting tremendous pressure on the concrete, weakening the slab.
A concrete sealant from a reputable contractor will prevent water from entering the surface of the concrete. The sealant provides a barrier from water, snow, and ice, along with salt and other de-icers.
Concrete Sealing Can Save You Money
No one likes to spend money on repairs and maintenance, but spending a little now can prevent you from spending a LOT later. The cost to replace concrete runs around $7-$10 per square foot. The average residential two-car driveway is 16 feet by 38 feet, or 610 square feet. We’ll do the math for you: $4270 to $6100. Of course, prices vary for many reasons, but this gives you a rough estimate. The average cost to seal a driveway in the United States is $0.17 to $0.25 per square foot. For the same size driveway, your cost would be around $103 to $152.
It’s easy to see how much sense it makes to do a little maintenance on your concrete before it comes to the point where it needs to be replaced.
The advantages of concrete sealing go beyond monetary savings. The sealant will protect the concrete from water, chemicals, and other liquid penetration while strengthening the surface. A protective seal will help prevent scaling, spalling, and leaks.
Protect Your Concrete
If you live in an area that has harsh weather, you must protect your concrete from the elements. Although concrete is hard, it is made up of a porous material that will soak up the water just like a sponge. Water that penetrates the surface will cause damage when it freezes and expands. De-icing materials causes the water to expand even more, causing more damage to the concrete.
Protect your concrete with sealing and other services from a trusted contractor like Pro Foundation Technology, Inc.
According to the Farmer’s Almanac, the 2019/2020 winter will be a wild ride that they’ve named the Polar Coaster. The Almanac writers describe it this way: “[The] winter will be filled with so many ups and downs on the thermometer, it may remind you of a ‘Polar Coaster’.”
The weather forecasters at Farmer’s Almanac predicted that the worst of the bitterly cold weather will impact areas east of the Rocky Mountains to the Appalachian Mountains. (That area, of course, covers most of the service area of Polyjacking.com.) Additionally, the coldest areas are to be across the Northern Plains into the Great Lakes Region. Along with the dangerously cold temperatures, this area is expected to see more precipitation and snow than it usually does.
Winter Weather and Your Concrete
If this prediction holds true, it could wreak havoc on a large portion of the country. The fluctuation in temperatures, along with the freezing cold and high snow amounts puts a lot of stress on concrete surfaces. It’s bad enough to have to deal with winter weather, but it can really damage any concrete surfaces around your home or business.
De-icing products like salt can damage the concrete, along with the abuse that snowthrowers, plows, and shovels can provide. Temperature swings cause freeze and thaw cycles that can cause the concrete to heave or crack. We can’t control the weather, but we can do some things to help prevent damage to the concrete and repair and restore the slabs when winter ends.
Although concrete is strong, it’s not unbreakable. A common phrase in the concrete repair business is “there are two types of concrete: cracked concrete and concrete that will crack.” If you know that cracked concrete is a normal occurrence, you can set aside some of the stress that comes with damaged concrete.
Shovels and Snowthrowers
Very few people enjoy shoveling or removing snow from sidewalks and driveways. Your concrete slab doesn’t like it either. Metal snow shovels can cause damage, especially if they are bent or dented. It is better to use one with a plastic blade. It may be more difficult to remove the snow, but it will help your concrete last longer.
Snowthrowers, or snowblowers, are another piece of equipment that can damage your cement. Many of these machines have bolts and other metal pieces that drag across the concrete. We’re not telling you to break your back and ditch the snowthrower, but make sure your equipment is well-maintained, check for parts that could be damaging your slab, and try not to use it unless it is necessary.
De-icing and Ice Melters
Most people know that rock salt can damage concrete surfaces, so they buy alternatives that say they are “concrete safe”. If the process of melting the ice involves a chemical reaction, it is NOT concrete safe. If you look at the fine print on the back it will explain that it is not safe for concrete that is less than two years old. We understand that you need something to make surfaces safe from slippery ice, but we recommend something like clay kitty litter or clean sand. Once the ice melts, the litter or sand can be swept away and will safely join the surrounding soil.
Don’t Remove Snow Unless Necessary
As we said above, we understand that you have to keep some areas clear and safe, but not all concrete surfaces must be cleaned from snowfall. Areas like patios, pool decks, and other unused services are just fine with a layer of snow on them. The blanket of snow and ice can protect the slab from temperature fluctuations that can cause cracks and heaving. By letting the snow and ice melt away naturally, you will prevent the slab from going through multiple freeze-thaw cycles, which can be devastating to the concrete.
Buckle Up for the Polar Coaster
If the predictions come true for the upcoming winter, you will have other things to worry about. Don’t let your concrete be another thing that causes anxiety. Take care of yourself and your family this winter, making sure everyone is safe and comfortable. Your concrete will still be here when the warm Spring sun thaws everything out. Next April you can take a look at your concrete and, if there is damage, Polyjacking.com is here to help restore it.
Ice and cracks are not a good combination. If you have cracks in your concrete, they can let water in and if that water freezes, the crack will grow bigger. As we all know, a Kansas City winter can be a nightmare!
Ice Can Be Destructive to Concrete
When water turns to ice, it can expand almost 10% more in volume than its liquid amount. This is a small number in the big scheme of things, but even a small change in a crack can cause a big problem. The pressure behind expanding ice is very strong. According to chemical engineer Geoffrey Widdison, freezing water can theoretically exert around 30,000 psi! That amount of force can easily destroy concrete foundations and slabs. The cracks can spread and grow wider, causing a wide variety of structural problems. The problems can happen when your property experiences its first freeze-thaw cycle, getting worse with every cycle.
As stated earlier, this can impact both foundations or concrete slabs. Once water enters the crack, your home or business could have water in the basement or crawl space or it could enter the foundation walls. Water can also cause concrete shrinkage and other structural damage.
Ice Can Cause Concrete Problems
As much as some of us would like to stop winter from coming, it comes just the same. The winter weather in Kansas City can damage your concrete slab, foundation walls, and any other concrete surface you may have at your home or business. The surface of the concrete can be a victim of “mortar flaking“. This occurs when the top layer of the concrete peels or flakes off.
As we stated above, any previous cracks can get bigger and longer and new cracks may form. Cracked concrete loses a lot of its strength and can lead to foundation failure or trip hazards on concrete slabs.
Yet another problem is something called “popout”. Popout occurs when the water behind or underneath a concrete surface swells, pushing against the concrete. It can cause flaking, crumbling, and cracking. This can occur at any time of the year, but it is more prevalent in the winter months.
Tips For Keeping Your Concrete Safe
The best thing you can do to protect your concrete is to keep water from freezing on it or next to it, but that’s pretty difficult. Make sure that your home or business is ready for the winter weather. Downspouts and gutters should be clear and drain well away from the foundation, at least 10 feet or more. Clear snow and ice from around the foundation; melting snow can run down the foundation walls and cause problems.
Polyjacking.com can help you keep your concrete stable and safe. With Pro Foundation Technology behind us, we can offer waterproofing, concrete lifting, and more. We’ll keep your home or business safe, dry, and comfortable.
Get your Kansas City property ready before the winter really gets nasty, so you won’t have to worry about problems with your concrete and foundation. Contact Polyjacking.com now and let us help you get ready for a visit from Old Man Winter!
You know icy surfaces can create hazardous conditions throughout the property, but did you know applying the wrong ice melting product like salt can cause damage to concrete surfaces?
Many property owners have been concerned about the use of salt on concrete surfaces, such as driveways, walkways, and sidewalks. In fact, salt is the number one enemy of concrete.
So how does salt damage concrete, and what are some of the best alternatives to protecting your pavement? In order to understand the effects of salt, you must first know the basics of concrete composition. Concrete is porous, attracting and absorbing 10% of water. When water freezes in the concrete, the pressure of the frozen water increases. As a result, pits, cracks, flakes, and potholes, as well as scaling form on the surface.
Salt is an acid that lowers the pH balance of the concrete. Because it is acidic, it weakens the strength of the concrete and increases the size of the pores. These characteristics allow water and other chemicals to penetrate the surface. If you have patio furniture, salt can also corrode the metal frames.
Fortunately, there are more eco-friendly alternatives to using salt if you are trying to preserve the lifespan of your concrete.
Safer Ice Melting Alternatives to Using Salt
We all know the best way to remove ice and snow is using a shovel. However, shoveling can be a hard, tedious task, especially if the ice is stuck to the surface. Here is a list of ice melting alternatives that are safer than using salt:
- Cat Litter
Cat litter doesn’t melt ice and snow, but it provides traction to prevent slippery surfaces. Most litter is made of clay and will dissolve, without damaging grass, concrete, or other surfaces.
- Wood Chips, Sand, or Gravel
Wood chips, sand, and gravel provide traction to icy concrete surfaces. These are natural materials, so it won’t matter if they are left behind after the snow and ice melts.
- Beet Juice
Because beet juice is effective in temperatures below 20 degrees, it is used to melt ice on municipal roads and driveways. It can also be used for sidewalks, patios, and walkways. Beet juice is biodegradable.
- Heated Stair Mats
If you have concrete steps or stairs, heated stair mats can be placed on your steps. They can melt current ice and prevent new ice and snow from building up on the steps.
- Safe Paw®
Safe Paw® is a safe ice melting product that can be used around pets and children. Also, it will not damage concrete surfaces and is made of natural materials.
Using salt on a daily basis can damage your concrete, leading to cracks and sinking. If you need to contact a concrete repair specialist, call Polyjacking.com. We are specialists in lifting and leveling damaged concrete throughout the Kansas City and St. Louis areas.
While a fresh, white blanket of snow is a pleasant sight, the inevitable task of removing it can be damaging. If not done properly, you can damage your driveway, sidewalk, or parking lot. To prevent costly repairs, keep an eye on your asphalt pavement as winter approaches. Look for scrapes, cracks, and potholes across the surface. These conditions can be unsafe for residents, pedestrians, students, and vehicles. Be prepared this winter by making the necessary repairs to minimize asphalt damage on and around your property.
Factors that Effect Asphalt
Here are just a few effects that snow has on your asphalt pavement:
- Snow Plows – Snow plows scrape the pavement, causing damage to the pavement. If you notice scrapes in your pavement once the snow melts, contact Polyjacking.com to seal coat the pavement.
- Melting Snow – One of the advantages of asphalt pavements is that they absorb heat and melt the snow. The downside is that this can lead to rapid water runoff, creating flooding and pooling water. Over time, this can cause cracks across the surface.
- Freezing and Thawing – Because the temperature fluctuates throughout the winter months, cracks develop in asphalt pavement. They get bigger and spread as the ground goes through freezing and thawing cycles, causing voids underneath the surface. With proper maintenance, you can prevent damage from these freezing and thawing cycles.
- Deicers – Salt, potassium acetate, and other deicing agents should be used sparingly due to an increased risk of damage to asphalt surfaces. They are dangerous to the environment surrounding the paved areas, including vegetation, pets, runoff water, and flooring in your home. It’s important to use deicing mixes that are environmentally friendly.
To prepare for winter, seal any cracks and holes that are less than a half-inch. This will prevent runoff and smooth the surface. Larger holes need to be filled with gravel, then sealed. Polyjacking.com can always help when repairing or preparing your asphalt. We offer professional and efficient concrete repair services to keep your maintenance budget down and minimize asphalt damage.
For sunken asphalt, we can lift and level the surface back to normal by injecting a polyurethane foam underneath the surface. As the polyurethane foam expands, it fills voids and lifts the surface to the desired height. Because polyurethane stabilizes loose soils, it prevents future settlement and cracking. We’ll restore your sinking asphalt back to normal.
If you have any questions about polyjacking or concrete resurfacing, contact Polyjacking.com today.
Icy, Winter Months in Kansas City and St. Louis
The winter months have set in and there is a lot of frozen precipitation in the St. Louis and Kansas City area. Ice and snow can damage the concrete around your home or business. As it gets into the pores of the slab, it can cause the concrete to heave. Also, the effects of the freeze-thaw cycles can cause scaling, cracking, and crumbling of the concrete.
Deicing chemicals that are used on concrete throughout the winter also cause damage to concrete. These chemicals cause loss of surface mortar on the concrete. When this happens, it is called scaling. Signs of scaling are easy to see as the concrete will become rough, flaky, and may pit.
The winter months will also cause the concrete to crack. This is the result of freeze-thaw deterioration of the aggregate within the concrete. Water then gets into the cracks and accumulates. Then, with the freeze-thaw cycles, the cracks will form.
Concrete is a porous material that absorbs water and as the water freezes, it pushes the cement binder apart. The winters in Kansas City and St. Louis can be extremely hard on the concrete around your home or business. Let Polyjacking.com, a division of Pro Foundation Technology, get your concrete back to its original level and repair any cracks that may have formed throughout the winter.
Concrete Repair Solutions
If you find that your concrete has been damaged by the freeze/thaw cycles that occur throughout the winter, we use high-density polyurethane foam to lift and level your concrete. We use the right poly equipment for the installation process. This method is relatively simple.
- A small 5/8″ hole is drilled through the affected concrete.
- The polyurethane foam is injected into the voids beneath the concrete. Polyurethane foam expands to over 20 times its liquid volume to fill the void. This will raise the concrete back to its original level.
- Polyurethane foam also compacts and strengthens the base soil.
- After the injection, the holes are filled and the site is cleaned up.
- Due to the short hardening time of the polyurethane, the concrete surface can be used about 15 minutes after the repair is completed. This polyurethane foam is impervious to water, preventing future erosion problems.
Why choose Polyjacking.com for concrete repair? We take pride in the outstanding reputation we have established. We are committed to quality and we are long-standing members of the Home Builders Association. We will get your concrete back to its original level and prevent future soil erosion beneath the concrete.
Residents in Kansas City and the surrounding area are used to snowy and icy winters. But what is different in the past few years is the extent and number of icy, snowy storms that this area has endured. These long, extended periods of ice and snow will affect your concrete and in the spring, you may see the damage that the harsh winter has caused.
When water freezes, it expands, and, adding the constant freeze-thaw cycles with a lot of moisture, the potential for concrete damage increases. One of the effects that cause extreme weather conditions is D-cracking. D-cracks are closely spaced cracks along the joints of the concrete.
If you find concrete damage in the spring after the extreme weather of the winter months, contact Polyjacking.com. We have the products and experience to get your concrete repaired in Kansas City, MO.
Concrete Repair Solutions
After the snow clears and you find that the extreme weather has caused concrete damage, Polyjacking.com can help get it back to its original level and looking like new again. The cost-effective method that we use for foundation repair is injecting polyurethane foam into the concrete to fill the voids and lift the concrete. Polyjacking is simple and less disruptive than replacing concrete. Polyurethane trucks and the right equipment are used for the installation process.
- A small hole is drilled into the affected concrete.
- Polyurethane foam is injected into the hole and it expands to 20 times its liquid volume to fill the voids beneath the concrete entirely.
- The fast curing time allows the concrete to be used about 15 minutes after the repair is done.
- The hole is filled and the site is cleaned up.
Polyjacking.com has been in business since 1978 and is a member of the Home Builders Association. Contact us for a free quote on any of your concrete repair needs in Kansas City, MO or the surrounding areas today!