Concrete walls come in an assortment of sizes and styles. A concrete wall might form the foundation of your home, take the place of a wood fence in bordering your property or provide height in your landscaping. Concrete is often the material of choice in any of these projects due to its unsurpassed durability and relatively low maintenance requirement. However, concrete walls do still need some work to keep them structurally sound and looking their best. This article will cover basic maintenance tips for a variety of concrete walls to keep them looking good and functioning well.
Most concrete walls will crack at one time or another, due to the pressure that occurs as the concrete changes temperature or dries. Most cracks are on the surface of the concrete and do not indicate a structural problem. Cracks are usually small enough to simply fill with a special concrete epoxy or other substance created for this purpose. If you are not sure which product to use on your specific concrete wall, you can always ask a concrete contractor for advice. By filling in cracks as soon as they appear, you reduce the risk of cracks becoming larger and more problematic. This is particularly true of concrete walls outdoors that are subject to varying weather conditions that affect the surface of the concrete.
Concrete can stain, so a good washing on a regular schedule will keep it looking like new. Specific stains can be addressed using regular dishwashing soap and a nylon bristle brush. Avoid wire brushes that might scratch the surface of the concrete. You can also clean outdoor concrete walls using a power washer, and this is often the recommended process for cleaning the entire surface. A power washing once a year should be sufficient to keep your concrete walls looking their best.
Water Damage and Other Serious Problems
Even concrete walls may be subject to water damage, which will become serious if it is not addressed promptly. If you find evidence of water damage, such as moisture around the walls, you need to locate the source right away. It may be as simple as sealing a few cracks in the surface or it may be another problem entirely. A professional is often the best source for addressing water issues, to ensure the wall is properly repaired and protected against future water problems.
Chipping or fissures within the surface of the concrete can also be signs of more serious problems. While chipping around the edges of concrete walls is not usually a concern, fissures and chips in other areas may indicate instability of the soil or foundation below the wall. It is a good idea to call in a professional concrete contractor to check the problem and make recommendations for repairs in this situation as well.
Concrete walls are often an excellent choice in worry free landscaping. With a small amount of effort, these structures can provide dimension and beauty to your outdoor space for many years to come.