Chicago Area Concrete Cleaning & Sealing
Why Sealing is Important
The strength and durability of concrete is what maconcrete sealing chicagokes it such a widely used building material. However, concrete’s porous nature allows it to absorb water and soluble salts, which can be destructive. Further more, concrete in the northern region of the country is exposed to extreme weather conditions, salt usage and many freeze-thaw cycles that all have damaging effects on concrete. Therefore, protection of concrete from environmental factors is critical to preserving its function and beauty over time.
Our Clean & Seal Service
If you are looking to refresh your existing concrete and protect it from future damage our clean & seal is what you need. We start by removing the grim and dirt that has accumulated over the years on your concrete using our specialized orbiting pressure washer. After the concrete has dried for 24 hours, we return to apply our commercial grade penetrating sealer.Schedule a Clean & Seal
Not All Sealers Are Made Equal
Many of the sealers sold in home improvement stores are acrylic sealers that only form a film on the surface that wears off after a year or two. These sealers cost less but are not as effective as penetrating sealers. Our professional-grade sealer penetrates deep into the pores of fresh concrete.
- Provides long-term protection from the damaging effects of water, salt and freeze-thaw cycles.
- Chemically reacts with concrete for long lasting protection (5-10 years).
- Penetrates deeply. The size of the silane molecule allows a greater penetration than siloxane type water repellents.
- Seals pores and capillaries of substrate preventing liquid absorption while allowing excellent vapor transmission
- Does not alter the appearance or texture of substrate
How Does Freeze-Thaw Damage Concrete?
One of the most common causes of distress to concrete driveways is freeze-thaw damage. We’ve all seen slabs where the surface has scaled off or where the stones have popped out of the surface. Here is an explanation of what causes that sort of damage.
Contrary to popular belief, concrete is not waterproof (unless it’s sealed). Running throughout the paste portion of the concrete matrix is a network of pores and capillaries created as the concrete is setting by the migration of bleed water out of the concrete. Once the concrete is hardened, water can flow into the capillaries and pores.
When water freezes it expands 9% in volume. If the water is free to expand, then no problem, but if it is contained and not allowed to be free, it exerts incredible force. We’ve all seen how frozen water can split a pipe or break a bottle. Concrete, with its low tensile strength, is no match for freezing water from within.
Most exterior concrete will become saturated to some depth whenever there is rain or melting snow. The more porous the concrete, the faster and deeper the water can penetrate into the capillaries and pores. During warm weather, that water creates no problems and even allows the cement to continue to hydrate. But in freezing conditions if the water fills the pores and capillaries (or soaks into porous aggregate) at whats called critical saturation, then freezing can lead to damage.
Remember that concrete has low tensile strength and freezing water pushing in all directions creates a lot of tensile force. Under these conditions, the water in the pores freezes and expands, creating tiny cracks that will then fill with water themselves and freeze, leading to more cracks – eventually we get concrete damage and surface spalling. To solve this problem, concrete poured in cold climates uses entrained air in the mix. Entrained air is created in fresh concrete during mixing by adding a surfactant (basically soap) that foams up and creates millions of tiny bubbles.
This allows freezing water to migrate into the air bubbles instead of damaging the concrete.
While using air entrainment greatly reduces the damaging effect of freezing water, it doesn’t completely eliminate the problem. The only way to provide 100 percent protection is to seal the concrete with a high quality penetrating sealer.
Schedule a Free Estimate
Whether you have uneven sidewalks, driveways, garage floors or patios, we provide hassle-free, no-obligation estimates for concrete raising projects, either in-person or online!