Whether you’re a homeowner with several important concrete surfaces or the owner or manager of any commercial or municipal property with common concrete needs, quality concrete pouring for your surfaces is an important consideration. Many facilities will need concrete poured frequently, often more than once per year, and ensuring you have a good partner for this job is vital.
At Lift-Up Concrete Lifting, LLC, we’re not a concrete pourer per se — but as your top resource for commercial and municipal concrete lifting and leveling services, we’ve seen numerous examples of what happens if your concrete pour isn’t done well. We’re the ones who are typically called to repair damage that takes place due to poor concrete pouring, which may lead to a few different concerns. Here are a few of the most common signs that your concrete pour was not done well — signs that should not only necessitate a call to our team for repairs, but also should make you consider changing your concrete installer for future jobs.
Concrete may crack for a few different reasons, from settling to changing weather patterns. Cracks in concrete may be small and only a few inches long, or they may be wide enough to form caverns that are several feet deep. Small cracks that are just at the surface will typically not cause problems, but if large cracks develop throughout the expanse of your poured concrete, these will only get worse with time. If you see cracks, consider asking your installer what’s causing them so you can assess if they have taken any safety precautions or are planning to take any safety precautions in future installations.
If your concrete is being installed near an older structure, it may crack due to temperature changes that affect both structures differently. Sometimes, this type of crack occurs without being noticed for some time. You can ask your installer if they pulled a permit with the city where you live to ensure that the contractor is aware of temperature-related cracking issues.
If you’ve noticed cracking in your concrete within a few weeks after installation on more than one occasion, however, it might soon be time to consider a new installer. One incident of concrete cracking can be explained away for other reasons; multiple such incidents means that the installer is not taking the necessary precautions to ensure a good pour.
Honeycombing refers to an issue where pockets of air have been left in the concrete mixture, and these pockets expand as the concrete dries. This leaves a weak spot in the concrete, and over time this area will usually crumble. The honeycombing is often difficult to see with the naked eye, but it can often be felt if you run your hand over the surface of the concrete.
In some cases, honeycombing can be repaired by filling in the pockets with a mortar or concrete mixture. This, however, is typically not a long-term solution, and the honeycombing will usually recur.
If you’re seeing significant honeycombing after your concrete pour, it’s likely that the installer did not take the time to properly mix the concrete or did not use the correct materials. In severe cases, honeycombing can cause the concrete to crumble and even fall apart. If this is the case, it’s time to call in a professional.
And with your next call, you should likely be considering a new concrete installer for your future needs. Honeycombing is a simple issue that any reputable installer should be able to avoid — if they can’t, there’s a good chance they’re not installing your concrete correctly.
Another possible concrete issue is known as delamination, which refers to a case where the concrete was poured too thin — leading to the aggregate, which makes up the majority of the body of the concrete, separating from its cement paste. While delamination can also be caused by temperature-related issues, it’s often the result of poor pouring. It will result in an uneven, bumpy surface, and it will chip easily as well.
Once again, delamination is a concrete issue that you won’t notice right away. In fact, some homeowners may not even realize that the problem exists until they start seeing cracks in the concrete themselves or observe rust forming on rebar thanks to oxidation.
If you notice either of these issues occurring with your concrete, it may be time to ask your current installer for a quote on additional work. If they’re unable to fix the issue or have not taken necessary precautions to avoid issues in the first place, it might be time to find a new concrete contractor.
Finally, an issue known as spalling may take place to some new concrete surfaces. This involves the appearance of what looks like blisters or open sores on the surface of the concrete. These spots will be dry and flaky, and they can often start to crumble and fall off.
Spalling is often the result of a chemical reaction that takes place when the wrong type of aggregate or cement is used in the mixture. If this is the case with your concrete, it’s likely that the installer did not take the time to do any pre-testing on the site where the concrete was being poured.
In severe cases, spalling can cause pieces of concrete to break away from the surface and even fall off. If this is happening with your new concrete installation, it’s time to call in a professional — and time to consider who you’re using for your concrete pouring in the future.
For more on the signs that you’re working with a concrete installer who has pour issues, or to learn about any of our concrete repair services throughout Utah, speak to the staff at Lift-Up Concrete Lifting, LLC today.