You must cure concrete immediately after you’ve placed and finished it so the desired properties develop. Ultimate strength gain is achieved with curing; almost half the potential strength is lost without it. Also, well-cured concrete improves durability against moisture, harmful chemicals, surface wear, and abrasion. Finally, proper curing enhances the serviceability and appearance of your concrete over time.
After your concrete has been cured, you must periodically apply a sealer to protect your investment in concrete. You can ask the concrete installer to return to apply the sealer or you will have to do it. We prefer that the installer applies the initial sealer prior to the first winter because the proper application is critical when the surface is most vulnerable to damaging chemicals.
The ice and rain of Oregon winters can affect the quality and life of your exterior concrete so it is essential that you remove it or at least keep it to a minimum, particularly that first winter. Here are tips for maintaining your concrete.
Do not use salt or de-icing chemicals that first winter.
- Use sand, which will not melt the ice, but will provide traction.
- Never use de-icers or fertilizers containing ammonium sulfate, ammonium nitrate, calcium chloride, and magnesium chloride.
- Never use hot water to wash away ice or snow from concrete.