Published Tuesday 18th of March 2014 // Updated Friday 3rd of February 2017
Freeze/thaw damage is a problem that plagues contractors, professional builders, road maintenance workers, and homeowners alike. The weather cannot be avoided or outsmarted, especially in places that suffer from harsh winters where freeze/thaw damage is almost inevitable.
Freeze/thaw cycles damage your concrete through a process that begins in the summer and fall, the warmer months. If there is a substantial amount of water within the concrete with the onset of winter, the freeze/thaw cycle has its first parameter that it needs to begin. When concrete has been saturated with water, either due to a poor mixing process or due to a lack of concrete sealer, the concrete will freeze in the winter. The water inside the concrete causes the material to freeze, which then leads to the concretes expansion as the water needs more room to freeze and become rigid. Now, the concretes structural integrity has been compromised with the melting of ice, the concrete will crack and bow under pressure. These cracks are disastrous to your concrete and completely unavoidable once the water has frozen.
A significant amount of tiny pores and hairline cracks make up any slab of concrete as they are a natural by-product of the mixing process. These pores and cracks extend throughout the concrete like a web, offering safe passage and storage for large quantities of water that manage to make their way past the surface pores of the concrete. While moisture passage through the concrete is expected and not harmful, it becomes problematic when the water does not pass through, instead sitting within the material. At this point, it is too late to avoid freeze/thaw damage, as there is really no way to draw water from concrete.
The only way to prevent freeze/thaw damage is to treat your concrete with a quality concrete sealer. By usingSiloxa-Tek 8500a blend of both a silane and a siloxane. These two sealers will work in concert to create a hydrophobic barrier to lock out excessive water and moisture from seeping into the concrete. Not only that but salt degradation, mold, mildew, efflorescence, staining and cracking will all be prevented. Without water within the concrete, the freeze/thaw cycle poses no threat, and your concrete will remain protection regardless of the season.