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Snow Removal In Orange County, NY

Can Snow Damage Concrete? Here Is What Science Says

When the dreaded winter season arrives, property owners are worried about the damage that their properties may have to endure. This is the time that they should consider a commercial snow removal in Orange County, NY, to minimize concrete damage during the harsh winter. 

They all have the same question: can snow damage concrete? In other words, is snow damage inevitable? Is there is no way to avoid the damage in its entirety?

The fact of the matter is that there are only two kinds of concrete in this world. One is uncracked concrete. The second is concrete that may crack at some point in the future despite your best efforts.

Does this mean that you should stop caring about your concrete?

The answer is no. With the right level of care, you can reduce concrete damage. You will, therefore, have to spend less money in the long run to repair your concrete. If you hired National Landscaping to take care of your snow plowing in Orange County NY, you will be sure they are taking measures to keep your concrete safe.

Here is the science behind concrete cracking so that you can understand how it happens. Don’t worry, everything will be explained in simple language! 

How Winter Damages Concrete

Contrary to what people perceive, concrete is far from solid. Instead, it is full of microscopic tunnels. When concrete converts from liquid to solid form, these microscopic tunnels develop. The tunnels form as the needles from cement crystals grow and interlock. 

You cannot compress water. The volume of water expands by about 9 percent as it freezes to form ice. There must be enough space in the tunnels to accommodate water expansion as it freezes. If there isn’t, the stresses set up will crack the concrete. 

This is why fresh concrete is particularly susceptible to winter damage. The water content of fresh concrete is high, even though it may appear to be dry.  

Similar problems may arise with deicing salts. If salts are present in concrete, then the resulting stress can break it. 

Deicing salts work by melting ice and snow to water. The water combines with salt to create a brine solution. When the temperatures approach the freezing point, ice crystals begin developing. Since the brine is unfrozen, its concentration starts increasing. Under these conditions, brine draws water to create a difference of pressure inside the network of cement crystals. Cement crystals may fracture as a result of this pressure difference. 

How to Minimize Winter Damage to Concrete

There are a number of steps that you can take to minimize this damage. While mixing concrete, you can include additives that create tiny air bubbles in the setting concrete. 

These air bubbles work by giving room to the ice crystals to expand. The air content of residential concrete should be around 5 to 7 percent. 

There are also special sealants that you can apply so that salt brine or water absorption is minimized. Sealants are effective at minimizing damage to concrete, in particular, concrete that is installed improperly. 

Of course, one of the best ways to minimize damage to concrete is to employ commercial snow removal in Orange County, NY, to prevent the build-up of detrimental snow.

Contact us today.  

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