|If you received a quote from Metro Concrete Raising Inc. last season and put off having your heaved or sunken concrete leveled or replaced, contact us now to get on our spring schedule.|
We will give first priority to projects that were booked but could not be completed before winter due to weather conditions. Residential and commercial customers with existing quotes who contact us now will then be served. We will honor existing quotes until May 1.
Metro Concrete Raising trucks cannot drive on residential streets until spring road restrictions are lifted and the ground is free of frost. That usually means early April. However, it’s not too early to reserve your place on our spring projects list.
To verify you are on our list or to accept your 2019 quote, please contact us. You also may call our office, but we are not staffed to handle high call volumes off-season when we focus on equipment maintenance and snow removal. Call 952.440.8000
While Minnesota winter is the natural enemy of your home or business’s concrete, don’t wait to administer first aid for Seasonal Pavement Disorder (SPD). Act now to prevent serious conditions that could endanger your safety, comfort, investment and to reduce liability.
Reduce Salt Intake
Minnesota road crews and homeowners use a lot of ice melt each winter to prevent vehicle accident and falls. Unfortunately, salt is harmful to paving, plants and pets. If a couple of days of warm weather are forecast, sweep or blow melt chemicals from your garage floor, walks and driveway. Then rinse the surfaces with a hose to flush the corrosive residue.
Salt is hard on vegetation, so avoid getting it on turf or planting beds. If possible, also rinse off the underside of your vehicle or get the underbody spray at the carwash to prevent more salt from dripping onto your concrete after it is clean. Be sure to allow the surfaces time to dry before freezing temperatures return. And disconnect the hose from the freezeproof sillcock so the faucet drains and does not freeze.
This late winter maintenance will prevent or at least reduce concrete pitting and extend the life of your concrete.
Minimize frost heave
Freeze-thaw cycles are as Minnesotan as hotdish. Like all liquids, water contracts when cooled. However, unlike other liquids, it actually expands more than 10 percent when it freezes. When the moisture is trapped under concrete, it can heave the surface. It can cause water to pool or drain where it doesn’t belong, such as along the joint between the garage floor and the driveway, between the stoop and the entry walk, or along the foundation. The best case is that it merely causes your sump pump to work overtime. However, frost heave also can lead to wet basements, deterred footings, cracked foundations and tripping hazards. What’s more, the hidden erosion can create a pathway for rodents or snakes to get into your home.
Plan a diversion
Until warm weather returns and soils dry out, you can’t do much to remedy a heaved walk or driveway. However, you might be able to address the cause. Check the downspouts from your gutters, if they exit near the top of the driveway or walk divert them away from the house.
If you can’t install a downspout extension to direct the runoff away from paving it is better to have the water drain over the hard surface than alongside it, where it can cause erosion and introduce even more moisture under the concrete or asphalt. Just be prepared to apply sand if the melt water freezes.
Emergency joint care
If you have an open joint in paving that is 3/4th inch or less clean the edges and press closed cell foam backer rod into the crack to keep water out. If the void is deep, fill it with sand before installing the backer rod. Then, in spring, press the foam down to create a half-inch deep depression and seal the top with self-leveling polyurethane caulking applied with a caulking gun. You also could mark trip hazards from heaved pavement now to warn visitors until you call Metro Concrete Raising to fix the problem.
Schedule your spring checkup now
Metro Concrete Raising cannot begin to do slab jacking or concrete replacement to correct heaved, tipped or sunken concrete until the ground is frost free, usually at the beginning of April. Customers whose projects could not be completed before winter will be scheduled first. If you are not already on our list, Contact Metro Concrete now to get your own concrete inspected and fixed in the early season. The best way to get on Metro Concrete Raising’s schedule is to complete the Contact Form on the Metro Concrete Raising website. We may still be out plowing snow rather than at our desks in March. That’s Minnesota!
Pured concrete paving gets dirty like any outdoor surface. It also may experience stains from oil and mold and deteriorate with prolonged exposure to salt and water. Periodic cleaning will remove contaminants and restore your concrete’s appearance. And resealing every few years will help it maintain its good looks longer, make it easier to clean next time and prevent deterioration from ice-melt salt and moisture. The right surrounding landscaping can help too.
Landscaping problems damage concrete
When concrete paving is lower than the surrounding landscaping, dirt and debris wash onto the surface and settle there. To keep concrete paving clean, it should be slightly higher than the ground around it and sloped for positive drainage away from your home. Turf and mulch groundcover will prevent muddy splashing from bare earth.
Concrete Cleaning extends life
You don’t need fancy equipment to clean concrete. A leaf blower, stiff push broom, soapy water, a garden hose and some elbow grease should do the trick. Pressure washing will save time and effort, but be careful not to damage the surface. Use a 25-30 degree tip held at a 45 degree angle about 6 in. from the surface so you don’t inject too much water into slab or wear away the surface.
To avoid dirty streaks, start at the lowest area and work your way toward the uppermost edge. Then rinse the entire area in the opposite direction.
For oil and rust stains, choose a chemical stain remover designed for the purpose. This includes alkaline, acidic or enzyme products. Follow label instructions carefully to avoid safety hazards. Be patient and resist the temptation to blast away with the pressure washer or be prepared to accept the damage it inflicts on the surface.
Today’s concrete sealers may be solvent-based or waterborne. Some penetrate while others just provide a thin surface coating. They also may be specifically formulated to block the damaging effects of ice-melt salt. Applied properly, any sealer is better than no sealer and most can be applied with a simple low-pressure garden sprayer or a paint roller mounted to a long extension pole.
Choosing the best sealer depends, in part, on the characteristics of the surface. For instance, wet-look coatings enhance the color and texture of decorative concrete such as exposure aggregate stamped concrete. Whereas deep penetrating solvent based sealers offer superior salt protection without altering the appearance. It’s important for any concrete sealer to be able to breathe to allow moisture to escape. However, cure and seal products applied soon after new concrete is finished are designed to slow evaporation during the curing process. This increases the strength of the concrete.
Professional-grade sealers last longer and perform better than the consumer-grade products typically available at home centers and hardware stores. However, they may be more difficult to apply.
The Metro Way
At Metro Concrete Raising, we seal the new concrete we install and use only the highest quality professional products. We also are available to do periodic pressure-washing and resealing of any concrete we work on. Call today to schedule routine maintenance so your concrete looks its best and lasts.
Sandra Warfield of The Warfield Group at RE/MAX Advantage Plus knows firsthand how sunken or heaved concrete can impact Minnesota home sales. Whether she represents a property seller or a buyer she routinely advises her clients to address concrete problems.
“I suggest that sellers proactively fix sunken concrete before it is listed on the inspection report because the buyers will likely ask them to fix it anyway,” the Realtor said.
Warfield says an even bigger motivator is that tipped concrete and erosion can spark buyer suspicion. “It sends a message that the owners may have deferred other maintenance. It causes buyers to wonder if there are other maintenance issues that are less noticeable.”
Settled or tipped concrete can direct rainwater and snow melt toward the house and lead to wet basements, erosion and mice infestation. And if a guest (or prospective buyer) trips on an uneven walk or patio, the homeowner can be held liable for injuries.
Slabjacking offers High Value at Low Cost
Slabjacking (mudjacking) a sunken concrete slab is an inexpensive and permanent fix that usually can be completed in a couple of hours. Done right, the only hint that there was a problem are the filled 1-in.-diameter holes used to pump the limestone slurry under the slab. And they blend with surrounding concrete over time.
“Remodeling your kitchen is a great way to make your house more appealing to homebuyers, but it takes months and it’s a big investment. By comparison, mudjacking a tipped walk or garage floor is an affordable one-day fix that eliminates problems that could otherwise put people off buying your house,” Sandra said.
“If you can spend a little money and make a notable, lasting improvement to a home, don’t put it off, “ she suggests.
Concrete Driveway Seen as Asphalt Upgrade
Warfield also encourages homeowners who are getting new driveways to consider concrete. “Concrete driveways are viewed as an upgrade from asphalt. Even just a concrete apron by the garage door is considered a nice addition when you sell your home,” she observed.
While ‘designer’ concrete that is stamped and colored holds the highest curb appeal, even plain concrete adds value as long as it is in good shape and clean.
Clean Concrete Now for Instant Facelift
“One of the easiest things you can do is to have your concrete pressure washed and sealed before you put your house on the market,” she added. “It will take years off any concrete surface”
Contact Metro Concrete Raising Inc. for concrete raising, pressure-washing and sealing and for new concrete driveways, patios, walks, garage floors, stoops and stairs.