Winter can be especially rough on your level concrete slabs. Cold nights and moderately warm days creates problems when it comes to the vitality of your concrete. Most people think that the relatively mild winters around the Houston area won’t cause much impact on your property. This, however, is a misconception. Concrete driveways, sidewalks, and patios are all at high risk of cracking and shifting when possibly freezing temperatures are met with seasonally nice winter weather during the day. Those rare snows during the dead of winter can also cause significant damage to the concrete on your property as well. Come Spring, many Houston Homeowners venture back outside to find cracks or uneven concrete on their concrete slab surfaces.
This doesn’t have to be the case for you though. The following post will discuss a few tips and tricks to keep your level concrete looking unblemished this spring. Tilted Concrete Solutions is Houston’s local experts for all your concrete leveling and repair needs. Whether it be upkeep and maintenance or a full surface leveling procedure, our technicians will help keep your driveways, walkways, decks, and patios, looking beautiful year-round.
Preemptive Steps To Avoid Sinking Concrete Slabs
Settling concrete is an issue that many Texas homeowners have experienced. This problem is common because of our unique weather and specific type of soil. Concerns about a concrete slab’s integrity often arise as levels of your driveway, patio or sidewalk slowly sink to uneven levels. It’s important to remember that once the deterioration of your concrete begins, it’s much more difficult to keep under control. Level concrete is obtainable, however, through a few easy maintenance tasks that will help you protect your home and save on its upkeep in the long run.
Direct Water Runoff Away From Concrete Slabs
Soil erosion is one of the main contributors to concrete surfaces sinking and settling. It is also one of the easiest ways to combat the deterioration of the ground soil making up the foundation of your concrete slabs. Just position the direction of gutter downspouts away from the area in which your concrete slabs are located. Downspouts that don’t carry water away from buildings or surfaces can cause washout of the soil. This will lead to your concrete surfaces sinking. Be vigilant when it comes to gutter inspections and making sure rainwater is being routed efficiently and effectively.
Another main focus, when it comes to rainwater flow, is making sure that pools aren’t forming around the edges of your slabs. The concrete leveling specialists at Tilted Concrete, in the greater Houston area, recommend frequent checks after storms. These are important in making sure pools of water aren’t seeping underneath your concrete slabs. If any edges are compromised, make sure to pack fill soil into those edges to prevent water displacement causing further, more serious damage.
Tree Roots Can Cause Serious Damage To Concrete
The growth of a root system around or beneath concrete surfaces on your property could be causing more problems than you realize. Tree roots typically extend outward one foot for every inch of the width of that tree’s trunk. Roots from a large tree in the proximity of concrete sidewalks or driveways can end up buckling the concrete slabs. Maturing tree roots will continue to grow as long as there is moisture in the soil and room to grow. Cutting these roots may cause the tree to become unstable or ill, creating new problems for the property owner.
Removal may be your best option but if that is something you’d like to avoid, a concrete contractor should be able to help in a few ways. Laying gravel under concrete slabs allows for roots to expand and now cause continued damage. Reinforcing the concrete with rebar so it’s harder to lift slabs can slow the buckling process. Finally, if all else fails, creating a new sidewalk that bends around the tree so the trunk and root system can grow more freely. Don’t assume, however, that the concrete will need to be newly re-poured as that should be your last resort. This will be much more costly so discuss your options with a specialist. Out experts at Tilted Concrete are here to help with a possible patching or leveling solution.
Winter Specific Tips To Keep Your Concrete Level
Some of the previously mentioned upkeep is something that can be done year-round but winter-specific maintenance is also extremely important as this season can be the most brutal conditions for level concrete slabs. Here are a few more easily forgotten tricks to make sure your concrete stays unblemished come spring.
Clean and Seal Joints And Cracks Before Winter
Regular cleaning and sealing of your cement slabs is vital for the upkeep of your driveway, sidewalks, and patios, or any other concrete surfaces you have around your property. Power washing these surfaces routinely is the first step you can make to protect them from the harsh conditions of winter.
Above nationwide average temperatures one day and cold storms with plenty of rain the next can be a rough combination for joints and cracks within the concrete. These will only continue to get worse without proper care. Making sure you keep an eye out for damage, like this, to your concrete is important for keeping it in it’s best shape. Once problems are identified, fixing them as soon as possible is paramount to avoid worsening the existing problem.
Keep Concrete Slabs Clear Snow and Ice
It’s true that snowfall or ice storms are a rarity in this part of the country. Houston has seen rough winters before, however, and it surely will again. These harsh conditions and elements can cause severe, irreversible damage to concrete surfaces on your property so it’s in your best interest to stay prepared for sure an event. It is essential to clear ice and snow off driveways, sidewalks, and patios in order to preserve a blemish-free concrete slab.
Make sure you are using proper equipment. Many ice melt chemicals are not good for the top layers of your concrete and can rapidly deteriorate your outside surfaces. De-icers and a dime a dozen but will eventually cause issues on the surface of your concrete. It comes down to the simple fact that salt heavy mixtures will eat your concrete. Kitty litter or sand is a safer alternative as they will still add traction without the damage.
Park Vehicles In The Street
Cars and trucks can weigh anywhere from two to six thousand pounds. It’s very likely that your driveway is not built to take on and sustain such heavy loads. Asphalt from the street is much more pliable and is a much safer bet when it comes to choosing where to park when keeping your driveway looking tip-top is a priority.
Consider parking your ride in the street instead of the driveway if your concrete slab’s integrity has come into question. Constant downward pressure from such heavy weight eventually causes Slabs to settle and sink. This can mean your driveway is more than likely to become uneven at some point. This can impede proper drainage and could furth cause more damage at the end of the day.
Houston’s Leading Concrete Leveling Specialists Are Here To Help
Make sure you are keeping up with all the upkeep and maintenance to your concrete surfaces this winter. If you are uncertain about anything or need another opinion, however, we are here to aid you in all your concrete questions and needs. Tilted Concrete will give your expert advice and a free estimate for all of our many concrete leveling services.