Is it safe to use salt on concrete? Concrete becomes damaged from de-icing salts that are applied during the winter season. Exterior concrete must be kept clear of snow and ice for safety reasons – we understand that. However, there is no such thing as "safe for concrete" de-icing salts or chemicals.The first winter, for new concrete, salt should never be used. Sand can be used to increase traction when needed. After the first winter, if you choose to take the risk to use de-icing salts or chemicals, you should apply a sealer to your concrete in the fall. The sealer keeps the water and salt out of the pores of the concrete. Be sure to use as little salt as possible, sweep the slush and salt off the concrete as soon as possible, and rinse the concrete when you are able in the spring.
If I can't use salt... what should I do? Clear the snow immediately before it gets walked on or driven on and becomes hard packed. Apply sand. Bags of sand can be purchased at Menards or Home Depot. Most other hardware or landscape supply stores will have it as well.
Do you guarantee against cracks? There are 2 guarantees with concrete. 1- It will get hard 2- It WILL crack! We will cut lines in your concrete to try and make it crack where we want it to however with the climate we live in with the high summer heat and freezing winter temp putting pressure on the concrete, sometimes it may hairline crack outside of the lines we cut. Unfortunately when someone sees a hairline crack they assume the concrete is ruined which is completely false. With the large gravel base we have and steel rod grid we place these visible hairline cracks (ones in cut lines are not visible) are only a cosmetic issue. We will do everything possible from large base, steel rod grid, and sealers to help prevent these but as is evident on many of our state roadways, and concrete all over Madison, visible cracking happens. So in answer to this question, no we do not guarantee against cracking...we guarantee it will crack...we just hope it chooses to stay in the lines we cut!
What steps do you take to ensure I’m getting a quality product? Proper Sub-base: The key to good concrete is a good sub-base. We place and compact crushed limestone gravel beneath all of our flatwork. The sub-base must mirror the surface of the concrete to achieve uniform concrete thickness. Heavy Reinforcement: Unlike most of our competition, we use 3/8” steel reinforcing bars (rebar), and synthetic fiber mesh that is integrally mixed throughout the concrete. This is the ultimate combination of reinforcement. Quality Concrete: We use a 6-bag, 4000 psi, air entrained concrete, with a low water to cement ratio. We only pour a quality concrete mix.
How will water flow off the concrete? One of our top priorities is ensuring water flows away from your house and runs off your concrete. We put ¼” per foot of pitch on all projects (where possible)
How thick is the concrete? It depends on the project. We pour the majority of our projects 4” thick. We pour all driveways 5” thick. Steps, walls, aprons, and other projects will call for different thicknesses.
Do I need a permit for a concrete project? In most cases the answer is no. Concrete flatwork is considered permanent landscaping, which does not require a building permit in most municipalities. Any project requiring a foundation wall will typically require a building permit. It is the homeowner’s responsibility to ensure that their proposed project is within property lines and is approved by zoning. Any necessary permits must be pulled by the homeowner. Homeowner is also responsible for calling Digger’s Hotline.
When can I drive on my driveway/ garage? We recommend you wait 7-10 days prior to vehicle traffic. During the early spring and late fall we recommend waiting 10-12 days prior to vehicle traffic. Full curing time is 28 days. My concrete was recently poured and now it looks like there are spots all over, what is happening? Your concrete is curing. Concrete typically takes about 30 days to cure, during this time your concrete will transform from its initial darker color to its final lighter color. The spots and/or blotchiness will fade out during this time.
What if my concrete does not look perfect? Concrete will never be perfect. It is important to understand that we work with imperfect materials under imperfect environmental conditions. The factors that can affect the final looks of concrete are too many to mention. Every project is different and therefore every project will look different. The imperfections in concrete are what makes concrete so attractive and sought after.
Do you charge for estimates? No, we offer free consultations and estimates.
If you have any questions for Cliff's Custom Concrete, please contact us!