In the wintertime, concrete steps and sidewalks are consistently on the minds of facility managers located in cold-weather climates. Specifically, it’s largely about clearing them from snow and ice to make for safe foot traffic by employees and customers.
Forward-thinking facility managers are also thinking about how much concrete damage will accumulate from freeze-thaw cycles, snowplow blades, salts and de-icers, and how much repair they’ll have to deal with in the spring.
In short, winter weather can wreak havoc on your concrete surfaces.
Pitted, spalling, uneven, lifted and cracked concrete commonly result from repeated freeze and thaw cycles during winter months when the concrete isn’t properly sealed. Depending on their severity, many of these issues – left unaddressed – can lead to further issues like compromised structural integrity, trip hazards and negative impressions about your brand reputation.
When and how to address concrete damage
The question is, at what point do you need to consider repairing concrete damage?
The short answer is “immediately.” Even hairline cracks, while often acceptable and to be expected, will widen and get worse in winter conditions. That’s because snow and ice melt, as well as salts and chemicals, will find their way into the concrete and sub-base and begin to make things worse.
Simon Surfaces typically recommends epoxy-mortar repairs for most concrete surfaces, including heavy pedestrian or forklift traffic areas, as well as sidewalks and curbs. Many concrete ramps, curbs, sidewalks, and floors can be damaged but still considered structurally sound. In these cases, a sealed, epoxy-resin overlay on the surface layer of your existing concrete is a practical and smart option.
Why consider an epoxy?
Epoxy-mortar products are not only stronger, less disruptive options, but they can often be less expensive than a complete concrete tear-out and replacement.
In short, epoxy-mortar solutions offer a variety of advantages that include:
- Strength. Epoxy-mortar blends are 2-3 times stronger than standard concrete.
- Custom-colored. They come in every color to match your brand or enhance safety requirements.
- Long-lasting. Epoxies are resistant to chemicals like gas, oil, and salt.
- Fast turnaround. Surfaces with epoxy-mortar repairs can typically be returned to service in 1-2 days.
Simon Surfaces offers repair quick and economical solutions for both repairing and resurfacing damaged commercial/industrial concrete.