Spalling is a concrete defect caused by either bad installation or environmental factors. Spalling looks like the concrete is flaking on the surface, and if it’s severe, it can break apart enough to show the aggregate beneath the finished layer. It’s a sign you need to make repairs now, before the problem gets worse.
Why Does it Happen?
If the surface was poured when temperatures were either too hot or too cold, this can lead to more spalling than normal throughout the life of the slab. In the heat, the moisture in the concrete dries out too quickly when it’s poured, leaving it brittle and susceptible to spalling. In the cold, the top layer might freeze before it’s done curing and flake off afterward.
Another common cause of spalling is using too many de-icing chemicals. Concrete is one of the sturdiest building materials in the world, but it’s not immune to Utah freeze/thaw cycles. When the sun warms the ice and snow, the melting runoff seeps into the concrete, an absorbent surface. When night falls and the temperatures drop, the moisture within the concrete freezes and puts pressure on the internal structure. The cycle repeats throughout the season.
As time goes on, spalling can occur when the internal pressure becomes too great and breaks apart the upper layer.
What Can You Do to Stop It?
Spalling isn’t pretty. More importantly, it’s a sign of weakness in the slab, so it’s vital to address.
Your first step should be to find a new way to melt ice. De-icing salts only accelerate the freeze/thaw cycle, making it more likely that your concrete will spall. You can also look into refinishing. This is when the top layer is covered with a new layer and smoothed over to look as good as new.
When You Need Repair
If you’re going to refinish the top of your concrete, the entire slab has to be level first to achieve the best results. What’s the fastest way to fix cracks and sinking? Concrete lifting.
At Lift-Up Concrete, we’re the concrete experts and we’re not afraid to brag about it. Using our well-practiced techniques and our solid grout material, we’re able to quickly level and stabilize your surfaces and structures. It’s an instant curb appeal upgrade, because we get it done in just a few hours.
Whether you’re dealing with spalling or sinking, cracking or crumbling, call the team at Lift-Up Concrete. We’re always here to answer your questions and to help you repair your concrete.