As one of the strongest, most robust man-made materials, it’s rare that concrete will crack or rupture without excessive physical force. However, the exteriors of buildings, patios, driveways and other concrete structures do suffer from being exposed to the elements, and can, in time, deteriorate.
Similarly, interior concrete floors are often used in warehouse and factory environments, and come into regular contact with grease, oil and equipment that can cause scratches and dents.
Faults in concrete surfaces are not only ugly on the eye, they can create unsafe and potentially dangerous structures. It’s rare that concrete damage will necessitate a full replacement of the structure, but the skills and knowledge required to carry out repairs will often put people off. Understanding how to maintain your concrete therefore becomes all the more important, which is why AMC have come up with a few tips to help you out…
1. Keep it Clean
Ensuring that your concrete is kept clean might not strike you as the key to avoiding damage and degradation, but debris such as small stones can scratch and crack floors if left unremoved. Pressure washers are useful for thoroughly cleaning a concrete floor, as these can remove any miniature fragments as well as stains that can compromise the structural integrity of a concrete floor, wall or driveway.
Cleaning your surface is largely pointless if you don’t then treat or seal it. An unsealed floor or wall can suffer algae, mould and mildew growth, which will continue to cause problems and require regular cleaning every 6 months. Instead, it is more effective to seal the surface. This should take place 24 hours after pressure cleaning, with acid washing (known as etching) and sealant applied using a paint roller. One coat should be enough, but a second may be necessary if the concrete is particularly porous.
3. Crack Repair
Thanks to advances in technology, repairing cracks in concrete surfaces is now a much more efficient and effective process. Crack chasing has seen an improvement in adhesives and repair materials, allowing contractors to carry out higher quality work and avoiding the need to replace damaged walls or floors.
4. Regular Upkeep
All of the above techniques are rendered useless if you don’t keep a close eye on your concrete surfaces, checking for damage and degradation on a regular basis. If you have properly cleaned, etched and sealed your floor, then upkeep should simply be a case of sweeping all debris away and mopping up any spilled oil or grease. A simple annual check for flaking sealant should suffice, and localised pressure washing and resealing of these areas will be fine.
Here at All Mix Concrete, our expert team are on hand to provide advice and assistance regarding your concrete needs. Whether you require onsite mixed concrete or the highest quality floor screeding, AMC provide first rate service throughout Manchester, Warrington, Liverpool and the North West. For more information, don’t hesitate to get in touch today.