Why should you seal your joints on your concrete?
When it rains, the moisture can wash away the soil or leave it so saturated and soft that it cannot support the concrete above it. Sometimes this is due to improper drainage, or other times it is a matter of unusual amounts of water getting to the soil underneath the concrete. Lines in the concrete are called control joints because they are supposed to control the cracking patterns when the concrete was initially poured. These control joints will eventually crack through the slab after the concrete is poured in place. This is a perfect path for water to flow down and under the concrete slab. This creates more erosion and more wet, weak soil. When this happens, the soil shifts, and there becomes unsupported areas of concrete, which will result in additional cracks in the concrete or unlevel concrete. Another type of movement that could occur in the concrete if the joints are not sealed is heave. Heave is caused by the ground's expansion and is usually associated with clay soils that swell when they get wet. If you get too much moisture underneath your slab, that soil will expand and cause the concrete to become uneven in portions, in parts. This can also occur during the winter months. If there is moisture in the expansive clay soil and it freezes, it will swell. Similar to a pop bottle in the freezer. Sealing the joints between the concrete slabs that make up your driveway or sidewalk is a crucial step to preventing future damage like sinking and cracking.
Urethane or polyurethane caulks adhere well to concrete. This material provides an impermeable adhesive to prevent moisture, air, and debris from entering cracks. The downside to urethane caulk breaks down and degrades when UV light is present. This is not ideal for outside concrete, and we expect to replace it every few years.
Our silicone-based sealant, NexusPro, not only looks great but works better than traditional, off-the-shelf caulking material to protect your concrete - and the soil it rests on - from the elements. It remains highly flexible regardless of the weather conditions. It will not de-bond, and it is UV resistant so that it won't crack or breakdown. NexusPro has a quick curing process, so you only must wait for hours instead of days to drive or walk on the sealed areas.
Expert installation is vital. Our technicians will carefully prep and clean the existing joints and cracks. Then several passes are made with a spatula spoon to make sure there is a perfect result. The final touch of sand is then applied to help blend in the color of the concrete.
By preventing water from seeping through concrete slabs, the soil below is less prone to erosion and settlement, which is the root of almost every issue related to concrete sinking and cracking.
Check out a before and after photo from one of our recent concrete repair projects in Omaha, NE.