Although our winters are known to be a bit milder than in some provinces, winter in Atlantic Canada can be challenging for concrete slabs. The climatic conditions, including precipitation and snow, the freeze/thaw cycle, and de-icing products, can take a toll on the durability of concrete surfaces around your home or business. While we can't control the weather, proactive measures can be taken to safeguard your concrete slabs in The Maritimes. In this blog post, we'll explore how winter weather affects concrete slabs in the Maritimes and provide valuable tips to minimize potential damage. Read on to discover how you can preserve the condition of your concrete surfaces for years to come!
How Does Winter Affect Concrete Slabs in Atlantic Canada?
The winter season subjects concrete slabs to significant stress and pressure. The freeze/thaw cycle, prevalent in Atlantic Canada, has the potential to cause sinking and settling, resulting in cracks and uneven surfaces. Additionally, using salt, de-icers, and other chemicals on roads during winter can lead to damage or erosion if property owners don't maintain their concrete properly. Heavy snowfall, a common occurrence in some areas of the Maritimes, may allow water to seep beneath concrete slabs, causing erosion and voids. These conditions not only compromise the aesthetics of your property but also pose tripping hazards for those using it.
Impact of the Freeze-Thaw Cycle on Concrete Slabs in Atlantic Canada:
The freeze-thaw cycle is particularly impactful on concrete slabs in the Maritimes due to the colder and wetter winter months. The repetitive melting process during the warmer daytime and freezing at night creates cracks and holes in the concrete surface. Frost heave, a result of the ground pushing the concrete slab upward, further contributes to uneven surfaces and cracks over time. This natural phenomenon is exacerbated by the Maritimes' unique geographical and climatic characteristics, making it crucial for property owners to be vigilant. While preventing the freeze/thaw cycle is impossible, regular shovelling can help minimize water seepage into and under your concrete slabs, acting as a proactive measure to mitigate the impact of these environmental factors on your property's concrete infrastructure.
Salt and De-Icers: A Threat to Concrete in Atlantic Canada
Salt is corrosive and can cause concrete to crack, with prolonged exposure leading to surface spalling. Spalling, seemingly just an aesthetic issue, allows water to penetrate the slab, potentially causing further damage. Chemical de-icers exhibit similar corrosive effects on concrete slabs, often accelerating the deterioration process. This chemical degradation compromises the concrete's structural integrity and can result in safety hazards. To protect your concrete in Atlantic Canada and ensure its longevity, it's advisable to avoid using salt or chemical de-icers and instead opt for a safer alternative like sand. This eco-friendly choice not only preserves the concrete but also minimizes environmental impact in the delicate ecosystem of the Maritimes.
Snow and Precipitation: Challenges for Concrete Slabs in Atlantic Canada
When snow and precipitation accumulate on concrete slabs, water seeps into the slab's pores, freezing and expanding, ultimately causing surface cracks. Beyond diminishing curb appeal, these cracks can pose safety hazards, especially when concealed by ice or snow. The accumulation of snow around concrete slabs and inadequate drainage can also exacerbate these challenges. This can lead to water penetrating under the slab, washing away the subgrade, and creating voids, compromising the stability of the entire structure. In the unique winter conditions of the Maritimes, where swift temperature changes are common, regular shovelling and proactive measures to ensure proper snow drainage are effective and essential to preserving the longevity and safety of your concrete surfaces.
Maritime Concrete Lifting: Your Solution for Sunken and Settled Concrete in Atlantic Canada:
While winter can be harsh on concrete slabs, proper care and maintenance can significantly extend their lifespan and safety. If winter has already taken a toll on your concrete slabs in Atlantic Canada, Maritime Concrete Lifting is here to help! Specializing in polyurethane concrete lifting, an innovative and eco-friendly method, we ensure your concrete slabs are safe and level. If you have sunken or settled concrete slabs around your property, contact Maritime Concrete Lifting today, and we'll restore them to a level and safe condition.