Five Tactics To Avoid Winter Damage On A Concrete Patio

Posted on: 27 October 2020

Your concrete patio may be the center of your outdoor life in summer, but it is often ignored in winter. Unfortunately, winter is the season when patio damage is most likely to occur. The following tactics can help you avoid winter damage.

1. Clean

Dirt and debris on your patio can lead to issues. Moisture trapped within leaf piles, particularly at the beginning and end of winter, can lead to mold and concrete stains. Debris that traps moisture during the height of winter can freeze. If there are small hairline cracks, this trapped moisture on the concrete surface can lead to crack expansion and more severe damage. Sweep and power wash the concrete in autumn so there are no concerns about winter damage from debris or dirt.

2. Relocate

Some items shouldn't be kept on the patio in the winter. Anything that could trap moisture beneath it needs to be moved or elevated. This includes planters, outdoor rugs, and any furniture that sits flush on the concrete. Trapped moisture under these items can damage both the items and the concrete itself since trapped water can lead to hairline crack expansion and damage in the concrete pad.

3. Patch

Fix any small damage before winter, otherwise moisture will seep in and cause more severe damage once temperatures plummet. Patch cracks with a concrete patching epoxy as opposed to a quick-mix concrete. The epoxy has some give, which allows it to expand and contract during freeze-thaw cycles. This, in turn, reduces the chances of the damage reforming during cold weather.

4. Seal

You can further make sure your patio survives winter unscathed by sealing it in the fall. A concrete sealer provides a moisture-resistant barrier. The sealer will close up small, nearly invisible cracks that can't be patched so that water won't seep into them. Further, it can protect against de-icing agents and anything that would stain the concrete. A covered patio may only require sealing every few years, while an open patio will benefit from annual sealing.

5. De-ice

If you must walk across your patio in the winter it may be necessary to use a de-icer so that it is safe. Avoid using table or rock salt to de-ice, as it can cause pitting in the concrete surface. Instead, use a chemical de-icer that is made for the purpose. Sweep up the excess de-icer after everything melts. If possible, skip de-icing completely and opt to shovel the snow instead.

Contact a concrete patio service if you need help repairing or prepping your patio for the winter season.