How to Keep Your Concrete Looking New

concrete maintenance

Concrete is one of the most durable materials available, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t require maintenance. A professional Concrete Contractors Colorado Springs with experience should design major structural repairs.

Cleaning a concrete surface helps it retain its beauty. A power wash can remove oil, grease, and chemical de-icer stains. Impressed current cathodic protection (ICCP) can control corrosion long-term and eliminate the need for patch repair.


The amount of water in concrete plays a significant role in its fresh and hardened properties including workability, compressive strength, permeability and water tightness, durability, and weathering. Excessive amounts of water in concrete can result in surface degradation or deterioration which may require extensive concrete repair.

Natural elements that can cause water damage to concrete include rain and seismic soil movement. Leaking pipes that are not repaired promptly can also lead to major structural damage to a concrete foundation. Often, the first sign of a leak is visible water spots on or around the concrete. These spots are not only unsightly, but they also indicate the presence of mold spores that may have been able to grow within the cracks of the concrete and cause further damage.

Cracks in concrete are common and can be caused by a number of factors, such as shrinkage, tension, compression and chemical reactions. Cracks that are left unrepaired can lead to further degradation of the concrete and a safety hazard for people and vehicles. Anderson has a wide range of procedures to repair cracks in concrete to minimize the amount of damage that can occur to a structure or building.

It is important to note that a cracked slab of concrete can be subject to additional damage from various elements such as tree roots and chemical spills. These additional damages can make the existing cracks in the concrete even larger and more likely to deteriorate.

Whether a slab of concrete is new or old, it should always be protected with a concrete sealer. A quality sealant will keep the pores of the concrete closed and protect it from weather damage, stains and UV rays. Concrete should be sealed once every two to five years for optimal results.

Using shotcrete to apply concrete to vertical surfaces is a quick and cost effective method of resurfacing large areas of concrete structures, such as warehouse floors, parking garages, and sidewalks. Our experienced concrete professionals use a dustless, grit-blasting technique that reduces cleanup time, increases efficiency, and provides for long lasting results.

Tree Roots

Trees provide wonderful shade, color in the fall, and character to your yard. However, they can also cause major homeowner headaches, especially when their roots encroach on concrete sidewalk slabs, driveways, patios, and slab homes. These roots can lift and crack these surfaces, resulting in unsightly and expensive repairs.

The main function of a tree’s root system is to anchor the tree and absorb water, minerals, and nutrients from the soil. These roots are generally more like a web than a rope, and they take up about as much space as the canopy of the tree above them. These roots are often seen as a nuisance by homeowners, but they are necessary to the health of a tree.

Roots can also be used to protect a tree from wind and snow damage, by keeping it in place during these weather events. Generally, it is best to leave the roots of a tree alone, and avoid covering them with concrete, as this can lead to death. If you have a large tree in your yard, and its roots are causing problems, a trained arborist can recommend solutions such as root barriers or root pruning to manage the roots.

A homeowner’s biggest concern when dealing with encroaching tree roots is that the roots can break concrete slabs. This is most commonly the case with concrete sidewalk slabs, which can be lifted and cracked by a root’s growth. This results in tripping hazards and unsightly cracks in the sidewalk. These can be costly to repair, and may even require removal of the tree.

While this is certainly a serious problem, it can be avoided with proper plant selection and care. When planting a new tree, it’s recommended that you do so at least 10 feet away from any existing concrete structures such as sidewalks or paved areas. This will ensure that the tree has enough room to grow without encroaching on these structures. It’s also important to make sure that the ground under a slab foundation is properly compacted, and that it’s not overly saturated with water. This will prevent the soil from slumping and creating pressure against the foundation of a home, which can be caused by tree roots trying to seek out water underneath.


Algae are microscopic organisms that thrive in damp, cool conditions and can quickly discolor concrete. They can also cause a slippery surface and be a health hazard to humans who walk on them. They can be very difficult to remove without a pressure washer. However, if you have one, you can use it to remove the algae and make your concrete look like new. To avoid algae from forming on your concrete in the first place, you should keep it as dry as possible. You can do this by not letting it get wet or by washing it frequently with your power washer.

You can also treat your concrete with cleaning chemicals. Look for nontoxic cleaners, such as oxygen bleach, to kill the growth and prevent it from returning. When using this solution, be sure to wear rubber gloves and goggles to protect your eyes. Be sure to test any cleaning products on a small area before applying them to the entire surface. Then, treat the concrete with the cleaning solution biweekly until the algae is gone.

All algae are photosynthetic, converting light from the sun into chemical energy. They have a special pigment called chlorophyll a, b, and c, which gives them their green color. Some algae also have other accessory pigments that camouflage the green color or give them other colors, such as red, brown, or yellow.

Although they are similar to plants, algae differ in that they lack certain general characteristics such as stems and vascular tissues to transport water and nutrients throughout their bodies. However, they do have a lot in common with land plants.

While they can grow on any type of surface, algae prefer shady and moist areas. This makes them a common sight near pools, lakes, and rivers. Algae can also be found in many houses, including basements and garages.

To remove algae, you can mix a quarter cup of bleach with a gallon of hot or warm water and scrub the spot with a hard bristle brush. You can also try using a specialized oxidizing bleach, which uses hydrogen peroxide or sodium percarbonate to eliminate the organic material without harming concrete.

Oils and Fluids

Oils and fluids are a natural part of our daily lives, but if they come into contact with concrete, unsightly and permanent stains can result. Concrete is alkaline by nature, but it also has tiny pores and cracks in which oils penetrate, then combine with water molecules to form acids that eat away at the concrete. This is why coating concrete exposed to oil is necessary, especially in structures that handle the storage, transport and processing of oils.

Oil stains can be very difficult to remove, especially in deep spots where they’ve been soaking into the concrete for a long time. Regular cleaning with soap and water is usually sufficient to lift some of the surface oil, but will not remove all of it. The best way to address oil stains is to use any of the clear penetrating sealers that simply do not allow the oil to soak into the concrete. These are easy to apply and very affordable, but you must follow the instructions on the label closely. For example, they generally require that the air and surface temperatures be above certain minimums in order for them to work.

Edible and technical vegetable oils constantly fall on concrete and reinforced concrete structures, impregnating them. These oils contain high molecular weight fatty acids that destroy cement stone and concrete. Fatty acids are saponified under the action of calcium oxide, forming alcohols and fatty acid salts that attack concrete.

According to researchers at RUDN University, in the case of vegetable oil the penetration of these compounds into concrete causes its destruction in 90 days. To protect concrete against the aggressive effect of vegetable oils, scientists are developing new types of admixtures.

One solution to the problem of removing oil stains from concrete is the application of a poultice. This involves saturating an absorptive material such as sawdust, kitty litter, pool filter media or plastic sheeting with a solvent (acetone, xylene, lacquer thinner) and then smearing the saturated material over the oil stain. The osmosis process will then suck the oil from the concrete. This method is very effective, but is labor intensive and may not be practical for large areas of concrete.