If you've had your concrete stamped and stained this summer, you'll need to prepare yourself for the winter. This is particularly true if you're expecting ice and snow. Harsh winter weather can destroy your stamped and stained concrete, especially if you haven't taken steps to protect it. To help your beautiful new concrete survive the winter, here are four steps you should follow:
Apply Sealant Before Winter Arrives
If your contractor didn't apply a sealant to your concrete once the work was done, you'll need to do that before winter arrives. Sealing your concrete will help you avoid some of the worst damage that winter has to offer. Once you apply the sealant, make note of the type of sealant you used; using different types of sealants can leave you with concrete that doesn't look as nice as it should. It's also important that you avoid over-sealing your concrete. Applying sealant every year can leave your concrete looking dull and lifeless. Instead, you want to apply sealant once every three or four years to be on the safe side.
Get the Snow Off Quickly
If you're expecting snow this year, be sure to be ready with the snow removal equipment. You'll want to get the snow off your stamped and stained concrete as quickly as possible. Too much snow pack can ruin your concrete. Not only that, but as it begins to melt the water can seep into the cracks and cause serious problems once it freezes again. To protect your concrete, clear the snow away as soon as you can. Be sure to use a plastic snow shovel, as metal edges can harm your concrete.
Stick with Sand for Icy Situations
If you're going to be dealing with icy sidewalks and patios this winter, you'll need to take a new approach to deicing now that you have stamped and stained concrete. Rock salt and other deicing agents can cause discoloration to your concrete. To avoid the discoloration, stick to sand for those icy situations. Sprinkle sand over all your icy concrete; the sand will give you the traction you need without discoloring your concrete. When everything thaws, simply use a broom or your garden hose to clear the sand away.
Inspect Your Concrete in the Spring
If you've got stamped and stained concrete in your yard, you'll need to conduct an inspection each spring. After the snow and ice clears away, head out and give your concrete a thorough inspection. That will allow you to identify damaged areas so you can have them repaired quickly. For more information, contact companies like The Patio Cover Guy.