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How Does Weather Impact Concrete Surfaces?

How Does Weather Impact Concrete Surfaces? | MARBLELIFE

Concrete floors have gained popularity in residential and commercial buildings due to their sleek appearance and low maintenance requirements. They can be found in various spaces, such as walkways, driveways, countertops, and powder rooms, adding an artistic appeal to any area. The neutral base color of concrete provides ample opportunities for incorporating textures and colors. Properly maintaining concrete surfaces can be a versatile addition to indoor and outdoor spaces. 

In addition to their aesthetic appeal, concrete floors offer exceptional durability and require minimal maintenance, making them a wise long-term investment for any property. However, it's important to note that even with their low maintenance nature, some care is essential to ensure their long-term quality appearance, especially for exterior surfaces. 

When living in areas that experience freezing temperatures or high humidity, you must take specific considerations to protect concrete surfaces from weather-related damage. 

Freezing temperatures: Concrete surfaces require special attention in climates that experience freezing temperatures. The freeze-thaw cycle can be particularly detrimental. When water trapped in the concrete freezes, it expands, exerting pressure on the concrete. This pressure can lead to cracks, spalling, or even the "popping" of the concrete surface. Additionally, exposure to salt and de-icing chemicals can cause corrosion in the concrete rebar, leading to staining and further damage. 

It is crucial to properly fix and seal concrete surfaces to mitigate the effects of freezing temperatures. Applying a high-quality sealer helps to minimize moisture penetration and protects the concrete from the damaging effects of freeze-thaw cycles. You must conduct regular inspections and maintenance to promptly address any cracks or damage. 

High humidity: Concrete surfaces are susceptible to moisture-related issues in environments with high humidity. Excessive moisture can lead to mold growth, affecting the appearance and posing potential health risks. Mold can cause discoloration and give concrete surfaces a blackened appearance. 

Proper ventilation prevents mold growth and protects concrete surfaces in high-humidity conditions. Ensuring adequate airflow and reducing moisture buildup can help maintain the integrity and appearance of concrete. Regular cleaning with appropriate products can also help inhibit mold growth. 

Following proper maintenance practices for concrete surfaces is essential regardless of the weather conditions. These practices include regular cleaning, sealing, and prompt repairs to minimize the potential damage caused by weather elements. 

How does weather affect concrete?

One significant impact of weather on concrete is the freeze-thaw cycle. Spalling or pitting occurs when water penetrates unsealed concrete or porous stone surfaces and freezes. When water crystallizes and expands (which is why ice floats), it creates internal pressures that can cause the concrete to crack or "pop the top," resulting in a pockmarked appearance. Sealing exterior concrete driveways and sidewalks is essential to prevent water penetration, especially in regions north of the Mason-Dixon line where freezing temperatures are typical. If left unaddressed, this phenomenon can cause severe damage to your concrete. 

Also, an unsealed concrete surface readily absorbs water from rain or sprinkler systems, causing it to darken. However, a sealed surface allows water to run off, preventing absorption. It is advisable to turn off sprinkler systems before cold snaps and winterize them to protect against freezing, as water-filled pipes can rupture. The worst scenario is when rain turns into snow and ice later in the evening, creating unfavorable conditions for untreated concrete.

Weather Impact Concrete Surfaces


Downspouts that concentrate water and deliver it forcefully onto the concrete surface can significantly increase the risk of damage below them. 

The good news is that this damage is easily avoidable by applying a MARBLELIFE concrete sealer. Once sealed, the water absorption process halts, as the water cannot soak into the concrete driveways. It is important to note that this process needs to be repeated, especially if you have been using acidic or masonry cleaners on your concrete. Acidic cleaners can damage and remove sealers, leaving your concrete unprotected. Therefore, choosing non-acidic cleaners is crucial to protecting your sealed concrete. Over time, acid rain can similarly impact the seal, mainly when concentrated under downspouts where the flow is intensified.


Efflorescence refers to the migration of salts to the surface of a porous material, where it forms a coating. You can recognize it by the appearance of a white, salty mark on the floor, which remains after the water recedes and the concrete or tile dries. To trace the water source, you can use a moisture meter to analyze moisture readings on the floor when noticing a salt line.

Weather Impact Concrete Surfaces

Efflorescence typically occurs on interior concrete surfaces when groundwater seeks to evaporate into the atmosphere by passing through the concrete floor. This phenomenon can happen on any surface in contact with the ground, such as basements, garage driveways, or ground floors in areas with high water tables. Heavy rain in high water table regions or flooding can raise the water level beneath the floor, increasing the water pressure and causing vapor to pass through the ground and floor. Another common cause is a leaking sprinkler system or pipe, which can saturate the local soil, leading to water moving up through the floor and carrying dissolved salts. 

When water evaporates from the earth through concrete floors, it carries dissolved salt, which can appear on surfaces as a layer of salt dust. As the water concentration or level decreases, salt deposits throughout the concrete, from the bottom to the top of the slab. When the salt recrystallizes, it expands in volume, creating internal pressures sufficient to cause the top layer of stone or concrete to pop off. 

Some Common Methods to Protect Concrete 

Surface protection of concrete flooring is necessary to safeguard it from the effects of climatic changes. You can adopt various practices to mitigate the negative impact on concrete surfaces. 

  1. Penetrating Sealers: This is the most critical and easiest way to protect concrete surfaces from pitting damage caused by absorbed water during freezing temperatures.
    External concrete is primarily vulnerable to weather and rain because it is not sealed or requires resealing. Additionally, kitchen countertops made from concrete are prone to stains from oil, coffee, tea, and water spills, which can result in surface damage and water absorption.
    Applying a sealer to concrete surfaces can help protect them from moisture, salt, and other environmental elements that try to penetrate from the top down. However, it does little to prevent efflorescence from the bottom-up, which relies on the presence of a moisture vapor barrier installed during floor construction.
  2. Coatings or Topical Sealers: Coatings are often ideal over sealers on concrete surfaces with scarring, crack or chip damage, repairs, or stains. Coatings resist water attack from above, but they may lift if water comes up from below due to persistently high-water vapor pressure seeking an escape route. Applying a moisture vapor barrier coat before the final coating is advisable to address this.
  3. Coatings: Coatings can come in various chemistries depending on the conditions, application location, or desired properties.


  • Epoxy: Epoxy coatings are popular for their durability and chemical resistance. They are commonly used to protect floors in industrial and commercial settings while enhancing their appearance. Epoxy coatings are also widely used as Garage Chip Coatings. 

Garage Chip Coatings

  • Polyaspartic: The garage floor industry increasingly uses polyaspartic coatings due to their fast-curing properties, superior UV resistance, and excellent hot tire resistance. 
  • Silicone: Silicone coatings offer superior anti-slip performance, excellent UV resistance, and mold and mildew resistance due to their inorganic nature. 
  • Polyurethane: Polyurethane coatings are another popular choice for concrete surfaces. They are often used in industrial settings and are known for their durability and chemical resistance. 
  • Acrylic: Acrylic coatings are a cost-effective option for coating concrete surfaces. While they may be less durable than epoxy or polyurethane, they can improve the appearance of concrete surfaces and provide water resistance.

Acrylic coatings for coating concrete surfaces

  • Filling joints & cracks: If you need to refurbish a concrete floor, the first step is to repair any pits, cracks, or areas of spalling to create a smooth and uniform surface free of trip hazards. If aesthetics are important, consider hiring a professional who can not only fill the gaps but also blend colors and textures to complement the rest of the floor. Remember, the final appearance of the floor reflects the quality of repairs. 
  • Surface treatments: Applying surface treatments such as garage coatings, marbleized floors, anti-graffiti coatings, or slip-resistant coatings can help protect concrete surfaces from wear and tear. 
  • Regular maintenance: Proper and regular maintenance of concrete surfaces can help maintain their appearance over the years. Regular cleaning can prevent the accumulation of moss, algae, dirt, and other debris over time. 
  • Pressure washing: If debris and dust have built up on concrete surfaces, hiring professionals for pressure washing is recommended. Pressure washing is an effective process to remove debris, and a professional concrete floor cleaning service can help eliminate moss and debris. 
  • Stain removal: Concrete walkways are exposed to external factors, including foot traffic. While sealing protects against stains, it is important to promptly remove oil, grease, petrol, and other stains to prevent permanent damage. Use alkaline degreasers to remove oil and grease stains, and avoid using salt and other chemicals to de-ice the driveway, as they can weaken the concrete structures. 
  • Surface covering: Cover the concrete surface with a shelter or canopy to minimize direct exposure to sun and rain. 
  • Avoid harmful chemicals: Concrete is durable, but certain chemicals should be avoided, such as calcium chloride, sodium chloride, magnesium chloride, magnesium acetate, and magnesium nitrate. 
  • Incorporate pigments: Adding pigments to the concrete mix can provide consistent color throughout, making it ideal for floors that will experience heavy wear and tear, where coatings could wear out due to heavy equipment. 

Why Should You Hire a Professional Concrete Floor Polishing, Repair, Coating or Installation Service?

Concrete surfaces are known for their durability, sturdiness, and long-lasting modern look that requires minimal maintenance. Concrete floors, walkways, patios, or countertops can maintain their beauty with regular care and cleaning for many years. However, achieving the desired results depends on proper installation and maintenance. 

Concrete installation, polishing, and coating require specific expertise, equipment, and understanding. It is common for different contractors to handle each specialized task. While it would be ideal to find a professional who can handle all aspects of the project, it is rare to find someone who excels in every aspect. Therefore, you must have expert installers, polishers, or coating application specialists for each project phase. 

Here, choosing the right professionals is vital to prevent damage and ensure optimal results for your concrete surfaces. However, with numerous companies claiming to be "the best" in concrete maintenance, selecting the right one can be confusing and overwhelming. 

For top-quality concrete floor restoration and maintenance, MARBLELIFE is the leading choice. MARBLELIFE is a reputable floor restoration company with high-quality products and nationwide service coverage throughout the United States. Our team of skilled professionals specializes in concrete floor polishing, repair, coating, and installation, ensuring that each phase of your project is handled with expertise and precision. 

Factors to Consider 

When selecting a concrete floor modification service for your residential or commercial property, it's essential to consider the following factors: 

Industrial Experience

Look for a service provider with a deep understanding of the chemistry and sciences involved in the process. They should be able to analyze the floor, assess the environmental factors, and consider how it will be used and maintained. 

Experience and Expertise

Choose a vendor with considerable experience in the field. Their past experiences and lessons learned from mistakes can contribute to better planning and execution of your project. Be cautious when dealing with remote bids or relying solely on images, as on-site assessments are crucial to accounting for external factors like downspouts and sprinklers. 

Value Comparison

Price should not be the sole determining factor. While DIY garage floor paint may seem cost-effective, it may not withstand heavy traffic. Consider the long-term value and durability of the materials used. Polyaspartic coatings, for example, offer superior resistance to hot tire damage and UV performance, making them a better investment despite being more expensive than epoxy coatings. 

Confidence in Performance

When sealing exterior surfaces, ensure the vendor covers all areas and stands behind their product. A reputable company with a track record of reliability and longevity is preferable. 

Testimonials and Reviews

Read reviews, testimonials, and social media posts to gauge customer satisfaction and the vendor's level of activity in the industry. Positive feedback from past customers can give you confidence in their work. 

Portfolio Review

Take the time to review the company's portfolio and examine its previous projects. Most reputable concrete floor service providers will highlight their work on their websites, giving you an idea of their capabilities and the quality of their craftsmanship. 

Licenses and Certifications

Verify that the company holds the licenses and certifications required by federal and state authorities to operate legally. Working with a licensed and insured company ensures compliance with regulations and provides peace of mind. 


To summarize, it's important to give concrete surfaces the care they need to withstand various environmental factors. While concrete is known for its durability, it still requires attention to ensure its longevity. 

Concrete surfaces in regions with freeze-thaw cycles or high humidity should be adequately treated to withstand these conditions. Regular cleaning, sealing, and maintenance are essential to keep the surface in good condition. Neglecting proper care can lead to mold buildup, deterioration, and costly repairs. 

When it comes to exterior concrete surfaces, it is crucial to have them sealed to protect against moisture infiltration, freeze-thaw damage, and other weather-related issues. Sealing provides an additional layer of protection and helps extend the life of the concrete. 

When cleaning concrete surfaces, avoiding acidic solutions is best unless you intend to reseal the surface afterward. Acidic cleaners can strip away the protective sealant, leaving the concrete vulnerable to damage. Opt for suitable cleaning solutions that are safe for concrete and won't compromise its integrity. 

By following these guidelines and taking proactive measures, you can maintain the durability and appearance of your concrete surfaces for years. 

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