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Concrete flatwork is installed in slabs, which is partly responsible for its trademark strength — it also makes concrete much harder to repair if it is damaged. Unless the problem is surface-level, concrete repairs can prove costlier. With proper care and maintenance, however, property owners can avoid bogging down their budget with undue repair jobs.
As mentioned before, concrete flatwork comes in slabs which are prone to floating during flood situations. Hire a reputable contractor to install a drainage system that covers any flatwork area (porches, driveways, sidewalks, etc.). Good drainage prevents excess water from carrying concrete slabs away from foundational walls.
Sudden shifts in temperature can damage the surface bond on concrete. This can happen, for example, when spraying cold water on a hot concrete driveway or garage floor. Ditch the hose and sweep the surface instead.
Concrete shrinkage occurs over time, which can cause cracks or gaps to appear next to expansion joints. If you want to address the problem immediately, fill in the cracks with gray silicone sealant (available at any hardware store). If you feel you aren’t up to the task, contact a professional to do it.
This is particularly advisable for outdoor flatwork, as they are constantly exposed to corrosive materials like acids and salts. Use a film-forming sealant with solvent-based acrylic to let moisture escape easily and ensure lasting protection for the concrete surface.