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3 Ways You’re Wrecking Your Concrete

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Concrete is an incredibly tough material — that’s both why structures from the ancient world are still standing and why concrete is used for everything from driveways to foundations today. But concrete isn’t indestructible, and some mistakes will have you calling concrete repair companies to fix up your driveway, walkways or patios long before you should have to.

There are two pieces of good news you should know. First, concrete repair companies are often very successful at repairing superficial damage at an affordable cost. And second, most concrete-related mistakes are fairly simple to avoid. Here are three things you don’t want to do if you want your concrete to last:

  1. Use Rock Salt or Harsh Deicers

    Almost all concrete contractors recommend against the use of rock salt on driveways and pathways because they can cause quite a bit of damage in the form of pitting on the concrete’s surface. While this is unlikely to interfere with the structural integrity of the concrete for quite some time, it is a significant cosmetic issue. You can avoid some of this issue by sealing your concrete, but the best option is simply to avoid rock salt or other harsh ice removal chemicals as much as possible. Coarse sand or grit can be used to provide traction, instead, or you can consider textured concrete for walkways and steps to make them less slippery.

  2. Plant Your Trees Improperly

    Improper planting of trees near driveways, walkways or patios (or failing to use tree removal services when necessary) can lead to large cracks when the roots lift up the pavement. There are three factors you should generally consider. First is the actual proximity of a tree to the paved area in question. Second is the variety of tree, since some trees have shallower root patterns than others. Third is the technique of the planting itself, including proper soil preparation and planting depth. Poor planting can lead to major sewer problems, as well, since roots can break up tanks and pipes underground, so there are multiple reasons to pay close attention to tree planting and remove offending trees promptly.

  3. Skimp On Initial Paving Costs

    This one starts long before you start noticing wear on your concrete: You need to start with high-quality concrete services when you’re first paving an area. In particular, you should ensure the contractor or company you’re using puts adequate work into preparing the foundation for the paving in question, since poor grading and layering can lead to big problems down the road.

Do you have any tips on avoiding calls to concrete repair companies? Share your advice in the comments.

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