Springtime Concrete Repair: Essential Tips for Fixing Winter Damage

Post-Winter Concrete Damage Can Be Frustrating

There's nothing more frustrating than walking out of your house after winter to find a giant crack in your concrete. While you can't undo the damage that's already done, you can avoid making costly mistakes in the repair process. Putting off repairs or incorrectly repairing them can worsen the damage, leading to safety hazards and costly fixes. Neglect allows water to seep in, causing further deterioration through freeze-thaw cycles. Additionally, delaying repairs not only affects the property's appearance but also poses safety risks for pedestrians, potentially leading to liability issues. Prompt and proper repair or replacement is crucial to prevent further damage and maintain property value.

  • Increase Repair Costs: Ignoring small cracks or fixing them improperly can lead to more extensive and costly repairs. Quick fixes might get the job done temporarily, but more often than not it’ll lead to more expenses and repairs down the line.
  • Decrease Perceived Value: Cracks are eye sores. They can make a beautiful house look cheap and even reduce the perceived value of your home.

Compromise Structural Integrity: Untreated cracks can grow and undermine the structural stability of the concrete, leading to severe safety concerns and potential structural failures. Cracks affect the overall safety of your home and are hazards to you and your visitors.

Types of Concrete Cracks Caused by Winter Conditions

Winter can wreak havoc on concrete structures. Understanding what type of crack you have is the first step in identifying a fix. Here are the most common types of cracks:

  • Expansion Cracks: These are wide, jagged lines across the concrete slab, occurring when the concrete expands in warmer temperatures and cracks due to restricted space. Heaving Cracks:
  • Caused by the freeze-thaw cycle, these cracks look like uneven, lifted areas in the concrete. Water freezes and expands underneath, pushing the concrete up.
  • Settling Cracks: Occurs when the ground beneath the concrete shifts or settles after being disturbed by freezing and thawing.

How Professionals Fix Winter Concrete Cracks

  1.  Clean and Prepare Crack: We start by removing all the debris, dust, and water from the crack to make sure the surface area can properly adhere. This might involve using a wire brush, a vacuum, or pressurized air. The crack will need to be dry because moisture can prevent the filler from setting correctly and potentially lead to further deterioration.
  2. Select and Apply Filler: Our team assesses the width and depth of the crack to choose the most suitable filler material. Options could be flexible, like polyurethane, or more rigid like epoxy compounds. This will mostly depend on the nature of the crack and expected movement. We fill the crack, carefully pushing the filler deep into the crack to avoid any air pockets, which can weaken the repair. Depending on the filler consistency, we use a trowel or a caulking gun for application.
  3. Select and Apply Sealant (optional): Once the filler has cured, we select a sealant compatible with the filler and the concrete type. The sealant will be weather-resistant and capable of accommodating any thermal expansion and contraction. We then apply the sealant evenly over the surface, extending beyond the edges of the repair to create a waterproof barrier. This step is critical in preventing water ingress and protecting the repair from the elements.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Repairing Winter Concrete Cracks

Repairing winter-induced concrete cracks incorrectly can lead to further damage and costs. Here are some pitfalls we are sure to avoid:

  •  Ignoring root causes: Merely filling a crack without addressing underlying issues such as poor drainage or soil instability can and likely will lead to recurring problems.
  • Using incorrect filler material: There isn’t a one-size-fits-all filler. There are lots of factors that go into choosing the correct filler.
  • Skipping repair steps: Failing to properly clean and prepare the cracked area before applying filler can prevent the repair material from adhering correctly, making the fix likely a temporary one.

Choosing a Contractor That Knows What They’re Doing

To ensure your repair lasts and won’t cost you more, choosing the right contractor is critical. Here are key factors to consider:

  • Experience: Make sure the contractor knows what they’re doing. Look for an organization that has a long-standing reputation of quality service.
  •  Credentials: For large concrete projects, make sure that the contractor you hire is properly certified for the work they’re doing.
  • Reviews: Check Google reviews to see what feedback people have and their overall satisfaction with their services.

How We Prevent Cracks

Preventing cracks in concrete after they have been repaired is crucial for maintaining its integrity and aesthetic value. Here’s how we do it effectively:

  • Proper Concrete Mix: We ensure the concrete mix is appropriate for the specific application, with the right proportion of aggregates, cement, and water.
  • Adequate Curing: Our team allows concrete ample time to cure gradually, which helps strengthen the material and prevents premature cracking. 
  •  Control Joints: Using control joints can prevent cracks by providing room for concrete to expand and contract.
  •  Environmental Considerations: Protect fresh concrete from extreme temperatures and ensure good drainage to avoid water accumulation that can cause structural damage.

Seasonal Maintenance Tips for Concrete

Being intentional with your concrete maintenance after its repair can save you both time and the frustration of more damage. As you consider how to prepare your concrete for winter, consider the following actions in the seasons leading up to winter.

  •  Spring: This is a great time to look at your concrete and see if you’ve developed any cracks in the concrete after the previous winter. Make repairs where necessary.
  •  Summer: Frequent rains can build up water, so your concrete must have proper drainage. This helps prevent the soil underneath from shifting, which can cause cracks. Check your concrete has followed adequate drainage guidelines during its building or repair.
  •  Fall: Before winter arrives you might consider cleaning and resealing your concrete. This can better prepare and protect your concrete from the cold, snow, and other elements.

DIY vs Professional Concrete Repairs

While DIY concrete repairs seem like a flexible and cost-effective method to repair concrete, it is easy for mistakes to be made when you don’t have the necessary skills or equipment required to fix concrete. Hiring a professional will bring peace of mind that your concrete job will be done in a precise and timely manner. You’ll avoid spending more money doing jobs over again and decrease liability from other issues that may arise from a crafty fix. For those seeking professional assistance with concrete repairs, our team at Concrete Craft's repair and restoration services offers comprehensive solutions tailored to meet your specific needs.

If you're considering upgrading the appearance of your existing concrete, Concrete Craft's resurfacing services provide a variety of decorative and practical options to rejuvenate your outdoor spaces.

Regular maintenance and repairs after winter can extend the life of your concrete and make your property look much better. Whether you’re still figuring out what issues your concrete has or you're ready to move forward on fixing an issue Concrete Craft of Northern Utah is here to help you with all your concrete needs. We have been faithfully servicing the Northern Utah area with concrete services for X years. Call today to get a quote on your next project or give us a call and get a second opinion on a project you’re working on. We’re here to serve you.

Request A Free In-Home Or Virtual* Consultation

Provide your contact information and we'll be in touch via phone, email or text to schedule your free consultation to transform your space.

*Virtual consultations are not available at all locations. All fields are required. Review our Privacy Policy.

Or Call Now

How can we help take your concrete spaces to the next level?