Right now is the time to clean and seal your concrete to protect it from winter’s icy grip

Female Tech Pristine
Pristine Clean technicians Desai (front) and Austin clean a concrete driveway before sealing.

By Mimi Vanderhaven

Sure signs of fall include the tweet of football referee whistles, the rumble of school buses going down our streets, and pumpkin-spiced products showing up on grocery store shelves—everything from beer to breakfast cereal.

But another tell-tale sign is the rush to complete essential fall home improvement projects, including cleaning and sealing our concrete surfaces to protect them from Northeast Ohio’s damaging freeze-thaw cycle.

“The rush is on,” says Pristine Clean founder Ken Wilson. “Now that the leaves are turning and temperatures are dropping, our phones are ringing off the hook to schedule concrete cleaning and sealing.”

And there’s good reason to hurry: Concrete sealant is less effective when applied during colder temperatures

“Not even our high-quality, commercial-grade concrete sealants are effective when applied in colder temperatures,” he explains. “That’s why it’s a good idea to have your driveway cleaned and sealed long before you carve that Thanksgiving turkey. The sooner the better.

Your Concrete Is Worth Protecting
So why bother cleaning and sealing your driveway? The answer is simple: protecting it is way cheaper than replacing it. “The cost of concrete and labor has soared over the past few years,” Ken says. “The average driveway now costs more than $12,000 to replace. That’s the average driveway.

Austin applies a silane-siloxane sealant to help prevent water from seeping into porous concrete...and freezing.

Part of this high price is rooted in a longtime concrete shortage, which has also encouraged manufacturers to cut corners by delivering lower quality concrete to contractors. “That’ why today’s driveways are not the same quality as those poured many years ago,” Ken adds. “That also means they need extra protection from Northeast Ohio’s damaging freeze-thaw cycle to ensure a long life.”

Let’s Talk Science
So why is water damaging to concrete? “Because it penetrates into the tiny pores in your driveway then, when it freezes, it expands and takes up to nine percent more space, shattering your concrete.” Ken explains. “Our goal in sealing is to fill those tiny spaces so water cannot penetrate them, ensuring the integrity of your driveway, patio and walkways.”

Using high-tech walk-behind cleaning units, the techs at Pristine deep clean your concrete to clear it of dirt and contaminants. Then they apply a sealer made of silane-siloxane, which chemically reacts to create a hydrophobic barrier.

“Concrete is porous and the holes vary in size,” Ken says. “We use this unique combination because silane fills the small spaces, and siloxane expands into the bigger spaces. Plus, after the application, our sealer will mitigate staining and protect your driveway and walkways against further contaminants, such as oils and road salt.”

In addition to concrete clean and seal services, Pristine Clean also power washes homes and cleans and revitalizes roofs. If you haven’t had your home power washed this season, you can still get that done, too, and not have to look at the built-up grime, algae and moss all winter long.

So before the frost is on the pumpkin, have your concrete cleaned and sealed.

Headquartered in Berea, Pristine Clean beautifies and protects homes throughout Northeast Ohio. They are highly rated on Google, Facebook, and HomeAdvisor, and are rated A+ by the Better Business Bureau. Call 440-595-3958 to arrange for a free estimate, or visit PristineClean.com. All technicians are bonded, insured and certified by the Power Washers of North America.