Podcast: Winterizing Outdoor Concrete

You’re listening to podcast episode 5: Winterizing Outdoor Concrete.  In this podcast, Direct Colors offers tips and recommendations on getting your outdoor concrete, countertops and concrete decor ready for the cold weather season. Time to winterize your outdoor concrete! If this is your first time listening, then thanks for listening and welcome to DirectColors.com/Listen!


AN: Today we’re talking with Shawna Turner about Winterizing Outdoor Concrete. Let’s get started.

Hey, everybody. Amie Nolen here. If this is your first time listening, then thanks for coming.

Hi Shawna, Why should I worry about sealing my concrete before winter sets in?

ST: This answer differs depending on where a customer lives. If you live in a cold northern climate, sealing your concrete before winter has a great deal of value. Ice and snow can damage concrete sealer over the winter, particularly if it has been a few years since it was last sealed. Water can penetrate under the sealer causing flaking or milky spotting on the concrete surface. While this can be repaired without too much difficulty, applying sealer in the fall before the bad weather begins can prevent the damage from occurring. If you haven’t yet sealed your outdoor concrete, I would reconsider. The freeze thaw cycle can do very expensive and often irreparable damage to concrete in cold weather climates. Spalling where water infiltrates the concrete and causes the surface to break away from the substrate is both difficult and costly to repair. Even if you have no interest in changing the color of your concrete, consider using the Penetrating Lithium Hardener Sealer on porches and especially driveways to avoid concrete replacement or re-topping. The sealer penetrates into the concrete and fills the pores so that water and ice cannot. Saves a great deal of money in the long run and keeps your concrete surfaces looking great year round.

AN: Other than sealing, what else should I do?

ST: If you have countertops or concrete décor like fountains, you definitely want to protect those as well. If you won’t be using your outdoor kitchen or entertainment area much during the winter and area isn’t protected from winter precipitation, I would consider covering my countertop with plastic or a tarp to prevent extended contact with ice or snow. Your sealer will thank you. For concrete décor, I would bring what you can inside and make sure what stays outside has been properly sealed. This is particularly important for birdbaths or fountains that can collect water and ice. Again, the Penetrating Lithium Hardener Sealer is an excellent choice for concrete décor and permanently seals the concrete again weather impacts.

AN: When are the temperatures too cold to apply concrete sealer outdoors?

ST: Solvent based concrete sealers can be applied outdoors in temperatures down to freezing. Water based sealers can really only be applied to concrete that is at least 60°F at the time of application. With the exception of the Penetrating Lithium Hardener Sealer, most water based sealers would be used indoors rather outdoors anyway.

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