4 Ways to Make Concrete Look Better After a Harsh Winter

Learn how to make concrete look better after a brutal winter. 

snow concrete
Did your concrete spend most of the winter under snow or ice?

What does winter damaged concrete look like?

Bad weather can cause issues such as discoloration, cracking and spalling. Sealer can flake and salt from deicing can cause additional damage and efflorescence especially on decorative concrete. 

How do you restore concrete after a harsh winter? 

Fortunately, even if your outdoor concrete surface took a hit, there are several ways to restore its appearance and make old concrete look new.

In addition to enhancing the appearance, you can also improve its durability, preventing future concrete surface damage. Learn steps you can take to enhance your concrete after a rough winter and how to protect concrete in winter.

1. Clean It 

The first step of concrete restoration is removing the grime and buildup that accumulated during winter. Before you apply color, coatings, or sealer, you need to make sure the surface is free of things like: salt buildup, chemical residues, dirt, and other debris. 

Start by thoroughly power washing your driveway, patio or other concrete surface. If you still have stubborn spots, you’ll need a cleaner that removes residue without  damaging your concrete. Brickform’s E-Etch* will do the trick. Its light etching abilities are perfect for getting rid of tough-to-remove salt deposits (read the TIS for specific instructions). And it’s environmentally friendly! 

After using E-Etch, you’ll want to neutralize with Brickform’s Neutra Clean*. This pH neutral cleaner is nonreactive and removes things like light oil spots, grease, and other types of stains.

2. Reseal It

After cleaning, if the sealer is still in good condition, but it’s been several years since it was applied, you can always reseal with a fresh coat to ensure the longevity of the slab. Just make sure it’s the same sealer that was applied the first time. 

If you notice remnants of old sealer chipping or peeling off your concrete, then removing the sealer might be your next course of action. To completely remove it, you’ll need a stripper such as Brickform’s Strip-It*. This environmentally safe stripper will remove water and solvent-based sealers. 

Once you’ve completely removed any remnants of failing sealer, it’s crucial to reseal to prevent future concrete problems. The right sealer for your project depends on your needs and the state of your current surface. 

Acrylic sealers repel water and enhance the appearance of your surface. They also protect your surface from common stains and dirt. 

But, if salt is a concern, consider penetrating or hybrid sealers, such as:

Learn how to prevent salt damage on concrete.

3. Color It

Applying color can work wonders on a surface that has experienced winter-induced discoloration. The type of color you choose depends on what your goals are and what you’re working with. 

Here are some color correction products Brickform offers for your weather-worn surface: 

Refresh for broom finished surfaces

Ideal for broom-finished driveways and walkways, Refresh* is your go-to solution for surface discoloration issues. This product delivers a semi-opaque color, resulting in a natural-looking finish that harmoniously evens out light and dark spots. Check out Brickform’s Refresh in action to see how it can revitalize your concrete.

Untitled design 11
Cem-Coat Plus rolls on like paint to completely recolor concrete surfaces.

Cem-Coat PLUS for decorative concrete

If you’re looking to breathe new life into your decorative concrete, such as stamped patios, Brickform’s reformulated Cem-Coat PLUS* is the answer. Now available in a convenient one-part, add-water system, it recolors aging concrete with rich, solid color. Its unique formula also allows for antiquing and staining, setting it apart from other products. When sealed, you’ll get the appearance of a brand-new slab, with consistent coloring that enhances the overall aesthetic of your property.

Brickform also has a variety of stains and dyes available. 

4. Resurface It 

If you’re working with a surface that is cracking, spalling, or has other issues that can’t be resolved by cleaning or coloring, it may need to be resurfaced. 

  • For a coating that can be customized to create the look of a variety of flooring materials, try Brickform’s SM Pro Plus*. You can apply this sprayable cementitious overlay with a hopper gun or trowel. You can give it a broom finish look, a knockdown texture, or you can get creative and make your own custom stone pattern. This works well if you are trying to hide existing cracks by incorporating them into our design. 
  • For a durable overlay that you can stamp, try Brickform’s Stampable Overlay*. It is compatible with many of our popular textures and patterns so you can recreate the look of stone, wood, tile or brick.
Freeze-thaw cycles can lead to surface damage like this.

Damage to concrete caused by winter’s cold weather can feel daunting. But know that there are many products and processes available to make your surface look new again. Explore Brickform’s wide variety of products and training opportunities to find the right solution for your concrete. 

* Before using any of these products, read the TIS for full instructions.

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