Living in a winter city means enduring fluctuating temperatures and plenty of ice build-up, plus the use of de-icers designed to keep us safe on our commutes. The degradation of concrete goes hand-in-hand with each of these factors. But proper concrete sealing from Sticks & Stones Building Solutions can save homeowners and builders thousands of dollars in costly concrete repairs and replacements.
“Concrete sealing is the process of adding a protective chemical treatment to the concrete to protect it from surface damage, corrosion, and staining, since Canadian winters and our freeze-thaw cycles—combined with the use of road salts—wreak havoc on concrete,” says Trevor Johnson, an engineer at Sticks & Stones. “The sealer helps close the pores of the concrete, thereby preventing water or salts from entering, freezing or crystalizing, and then breaking up the concrete surface.”
Johnson acknowledges that we’ve all become complacent in accepting that new concrete is destined to break down over time in our climate. But with quality preventative care, the lifespan of our driveways, sidewalks, and roadways can be significantly extended.
“Sealing offers a way to extend the life of concrete by decades, which saves significant money over time,” says Johnson. “It’s increased sustainability also decreases its carbon footprint—which is better for the environment—and it’s actually recommended by several home warranty programs as well.”
The Alberta New Home Warranty Program is one that specifically outlines the risks faced by concrete walks and driveways through winter, and it also describes what can be done by homebuilders at the time of installation—namely the application of breathable surface sealers.“
There are very few companies that do this properly,” says Johnson. “Some offer a cure-and-seal additive, however this is tricky, as the product doesn’t do both simultaneously. Rather, it’s an effective curing agent when applied at a particular dosage on day one, and an effective sealing agent when applied on day 28 at a different specified dosage. Much of the industry isn’t aware of this difference or of the proper ways to protect concrete.”
“This is where we’ve found our niche and tested several different products. Our product is solvent-based and much more concentrated, allowing us a larger application on windows and more effective protection than many over-the-counter products. It’s also stronger than cheaper water-based sealers that some companies use.”
Before and after: A badly damaged driveway is repaired with concrete sealing.
For homebuilders, a single warranty claim requiring concrete repair or replacement can easily cost $10,000—and cause dissatisfaction among homeowners. By using Sticks & Stones sealers on all newly built driveways, homebuilders can virtually eliminate the number of claims received each year for damaged concrete.
“Our relationship with homeowners in the Edmonton area is unmatched,” says Johnson. “Plus, we work with multiple homebuilders that understand our products save them money in the long run because they no longer have as many concrete warranty claims.”
“We work hard to build and maintain our reputation in the industry by using only the highest quality sealers on the market, and we regularly end up going to replace or do costly repairs on the work done by other installers.”
Concrete Alberta provides homeowners with a guide on how to protect their investment via the use of sealers. Sticks & Stones is among those listed as installers of these quality products.
“With our experience, we not only provide advice to our clients but can also effectively facilitate everything from rip-and-replace and new concrete installs, to driveway levelling and sealing,” says Johnson. “Plus, with our extensive industry experience, we can generally provide an effective solution at a competitive price on any project.”
Most of Sticks & Stones’ expertise has been put to use in the Edmonton area up until now, but the strong relationships they’ve forged with builders and contractors are allowing them to reach Red Deer, Saskatoon, Calgary, and Kelowna this year as well.
And while much of the focus is on home properties, Johnson reiterates that all concrete—whether commercial or residential—needs to be protected in our climate.“Alberta Transportation mandates the use of sealers on all Alberta bridges because it significantly extends the life of these expensive structures by so much,” he says. “Homeowners, builders, general contractors, and city infrastructure managers are now realizing the benefit of including the sealing process on all concrete. If you can make a city sidewalk last 50 years instead of 20—or often much less—that’s a significant cost savings to the taxpayer.”
If you have questions about driveway sealers, concrete deterioration or general inquiries about what’s right for your home, contact us today. With over six decades of experience cleaning, sealing and protecting residential homes and commercial businesses across Alberta, we can help you make an informed decision about your concrete needs.
View original article here.