Home Repair you may have overlooked.
Concrete Repair Options after Winter Damage
Most every home has some type of concrete, be it a pathway or driveway. Concrete is a solid material
that can last for decades, providing a stable place to walk or park a vehicle. However, concrete is also
susceptible to damage from harsh winter conditions. Depending on where you live, you may have
serious issues with concrete driveways or walkways in the home, based on the weather. Below are
common issues with concrete based on winter weather conditions and how these issues can be
The most common form of damage to exterior concrete is known as scaling. Scaling is when
delamination occurs on the surface of the concrete. The concrete may appear to be peeling in thin
sheets, thus known as scales. Scaling can be minimal or go below the first layer of concrete and damage
the walkway or driveway.
The most common cause of scaling occurs when the concrete is exposed to sub-freezing temperatures,
moisture and fluctuating temperatures from below to above freezing. There are factors to be considered
as well in regards to the concrete as it was mixed and applied. This can include the ratio of cement to
water when mixed, finish, curing and air-entrapment.
Spalling is a term used to describe damage to concrete on the surface that goes deep within the slab.
Spalling can be found in the joints, edges and cracks of concrete but can also be found mid-slab. Spalling
is usually superficial but can go deep within the concrete. The causes of spalling are similar to scaling.
The most common reason behind spalling is with the control joints. The concrete is engineered for the
expansion and control joints to allow for movement without damage. If the movement of a joint goes
past the point of tolerance, the sections adjacent can shift or contact. This causes the spalling process.
Freeze thaw cycling can also be a cause.
Cracking is not uncommon with concrete as the material is not a perfect one. Cracks can occur in various
shapes and sizes due to various characteristics. Cracks can occur due to shrinkage or settlement or
based on weather conditions. Concrete can seem smooth and perfect during pouring only to crack
months later. Contraction is a common reason behind cracking as the control joints and expansion joints
have to be engineered properly to control cracking. This can be a common issue.
To be able to avoid such issues with concrete used for the exterior of the home, a professional should be
hired to complete the project. The type of materials, tools and procedures used are very important. A
professional will have the know-how and experience to get the job done right the first time, with no
issues such as scaling, spalling or cracking.
Home owners interested in a DIY project involving concrete will find the material is harder to work with
and that projects may end up in need of a professional serving to repair any cracks or issues that may
occur along the way.