4 Must-Know Facts That Can Make or Ruin Your Concrete Patio
Adding concrete patios to your outdoor space is a great way of beautifying and increasing the value of your home.
In addition to that, you get a fun space to entertain friends and enjoy some family time when the weather plays nice.
Besides the obvious benefit of having a beautiful backyard, concrete also makes for the best choice because they are durable and have a low maintenance level.
Now let’s pause with all the sweet talk about concrete patios and dive into the next section – 4 facts you MUST know if you want the most attractive and long-lasting patio in your neighborhood.
4 Vital Facts for Homeowners Considering Concrete Patio
Unlimited design options
One of the top reasons why concrete will always be the market favorite is the ability to customize it into virtually all designs. With concrete, you can get any color and pattern you can ever think of.
What’s more, you can also color coordinate your concrete patio to match with your landscape or home’s exterior.
Lastly, concrete can be shaped to mimic popular paving surfaces like flagstone, tile, brick, and slate.
Durability – How fast will it crack and fade?
Even though it will eventually chip and crack with age, poured concrete as a whole, is extremely durable and tend to last for decades.
Compared with natural stone, pavers, or brick, concrete slabs won’t shift and if you want to make them even stronger, you can have them reinforced with rebar.
However, two major factors that do cause early cracking of some concrete patio work are:
Extreme weather changes (harsh summers and winters) which cause a high degree of expansion and contraction.
If you’re in a vicinity with this kind of climate, it would be advisable to hire an experienced concrete contractor to install your patio if you want a flooring that would last long.
The second cause of untimely cracking in concrete patio works is “unstable soil”.
Some concrete patio needs to have joints laid underneath them to allow for shrinkage and expansion.
So if your home has these two issues, bring it up with your contractor and ask how they’ve tackled it in previous jobs. Furthermore, ask about ways they plan on overcoming those problems in your case.
As to how fast a patio color will fade, well, it all depends on the quality of color mixed into the cement. Concrete colors made from pure iron oxide pigments won’t fade, but it will change.
What this means is that as the years go by, efflorescence, traffic, dirt, and pollution will take a toll on your concrete surface, giving it a fade look.
But a good yearly cleaning and sealing will restore the original color
Preventing cracks caused by unstable soil or harsh winters
A common way of protecting concrete patio from the effects of extreme freeze-thaw conditions is to apply a good sealer (preferably an acrylic sealer) before frigid weather sets in.
What the sealer does is to prevent moisture in snow and ice from seeping into the concrete pavement and weakening the structure when it freezes.
To prevent cracks on mushy organic soils (marl soil), what some professional contractors do is they excavate the surface marl.
Next, the excavated space is filled up with a specific type of crushed stone to provide the solid compaction needed for a stronger patio work.
Eliminating slippery floor
Concrete becomes dangerously slippery when wet. Some ways of minimizing this problem include selecting a textured floor pattern or adding aggregate to your concrete mixture.