Concrete is a big investment, but hopefully, it’s not one you’ll have to make often. When properly cared for, concrete can last decades.
At A-1 Concrete Leveling, with over 30 years of expertise in concrete care, we've witnessed firsthand how regular maintenance plays a huge role in the longevity of concrete.
But there’s a lot that goes into maintaining it. With this in mind, it can be hard to keep what to do and when to do it straight.
To help make concrete maintenance more straightforward, we've distilled the best practices into this accessible seasonal calendar.
Want the maintenance calendar as a checklist? Download the free PDF here!
As winter fades away, inspect your property for concrete damage caused by freeze-thaw cycles during the colder months.
Check for New Cracks or Voids
Conduct a thorough property walk to identify and promptly fill new cracks or voids to prevent them from getting worse.
Check Pool for Leaks
Inspect your pool area for leaks and repair them promptly to prevent erosion under the concrete pool deck. Soil erosion is one of the main culprits behind concrete settling.
Check Interior Slabs for Movement
Fluctuating temperatures during winter can cause expansion and contraction in the concrete and soil below, leading to sinking or heaving slabs in areas like garages or basement floors.
Add Soil and Landscaping Around Concrete
Adding soil around the slabs or making sure landscaping is even with the surface of the concrete can help prevent erosion. The growing springtime grass can help with this, too.
The warm, sunny days of summer provide an ideal opportunity to tackle concrete maintenance tasks.
Pressure wash the concrete to remove any accumulated grime and dirt, and to prepare the surface for sealing if necessary.
Apply a high-quality sealer to protect the concrete from moisture, staining, and other forms of damage. Depending on the sealer used and the location of the concrete, you may not need to do this every summer, but this is a good to time check if it's still working.
Check Water Drainage Direction
Ensure water drainage systems aren't pointing water flow directly at concrete to prevent soil erosion beneath the surface, which can cause the concrete to settle.
Check for Pests and Animals
Make sure that no animals have burrowed under your concrete surfaces, as their digging displaces the soil under the concrete and can cause it to settle.
With falling leaves and cooler temperatures, it's time to prepare for winter.
Clean and Repair Gutters
Prevent gutter leaks and water overflowing onto the concrete by cleaning and making necessary repairs. We often see slabs that have settled due to the constant overflow or dripping of water coming from the gutters up above.
Caulk Gaps and Cracks
Seal cracks and gaps before the first freeze to minimize water infiltration and help prevent erosion, slab movement, and worsening cracks.
Keep Leaves Off Concrete
Regularly remove leaves to prevent staining and excessive debris accumulation.
Add Soil Around and Landscaping Concrete
Fall is another time when adding soil or landscaping around the concrete is a good idea to prevent erosion and future settling.
Excess moisture and continuous freeze-thaw cycles pose risks to concrete over winter.
Avoid Using Salt as a Deicer
Salt used on concrete can cause lasting damage, like cracking, crumbling, and flaking. Using other alternatives and natural traction enhancers is a better idea to keep your concrete in good condition.
Shovel Snow Off Concrete
Be sure to remove snow from the concrete to keep it as dry as possible. It’s also a good idea to go into winter with a shoveling plan, especially if you are responsible for things like multi-family properties or apartment complexes.
Check Trees and Roots
Inspect trees for roots lifting concrete and take necessary action, such as maintenance or tree removal.
Cleaning and Sealing Your Concrete
Concrete can be cleaned every 1-2 years. Depending on the type of sealer used, it may need to be applied anywhere between once every 1-2 years and once every 5-10 years or more.
Concrete caulk should be replaced every 3-8 years, or when it starts shrinking away from the concrete. If a new crack opens up, caulk it as soon as possible.
Related Resource: Why Caulk Concrete Cracks & Joints?
Void-Filling and Concrete Leveling
Voids or empty spaces under the concrete should be filled and uneven concrete should be leveled as soon as possible.
Being proactive about these repairs will help minimize damage and costs while keeping your concrete safe.
Related Resource: All About Concrete Leveling (Pros and Cons, FAQ, Cost, and More)
Now that you know what goes into maintaining your concrete every year, you’re one step closer to prolonging the life of your concrete and keeping it looking great.
You can download the free seasonal maintenance checklist and put it in an easy-to-reach place for reference year-round so you don’t miss an important step.
At A-1 Concrete Leveling, we can help you with everything from concrete cleaning to complex concrete lifting. If you’re looking for a partner in concrete care, click the link below to request a free onsite cost estimate for all your concrete repair or maintenance needs!