Springtime is (almost) here! Now What? Early Signs of Spalling and Cracking Concrete
Concrete is used in a variety of ways for the home. From driveways and sidewalks to patios and foundations, concrete is a go-to material of builders. During the spring months, it is a perfect time for homeowners to clean up the landscaping and begin inspecting the home. While concrete does not require regular maintenance, it does need to be inspected from time to time to look for issues such as spalling and cracking. Such problems need to be handled quickly in order to avoid a complete replacement of your concrete.
What is Spalling?
An early sign of an issue with concrete is known as spalling. The term is used to describe the breakdown of a masonry surface due to high temperature or pressure. There are common signs you can look for that will help determine if spalling is present. If so, then the concrete will need to be repaired. Repairs should be handled quickly so that the concrete does not breakdown even further.
An early warning sign can include striated lines. If you begin to see lines in your concrete, then there is a problem. These lines can be filled in, which can then reinforce the structural integrity of your concrete. Discoloration as well as pitted or rough spots in the texture and appearance of the concrete are also early warning signs.
Many signs of spalling are due to water penetration within the concrete. Water can corrode as well as deteriorate the reinforcement of the concrete when dealing with a foundation. It can also cause issues with driveways, walkways, and patios when the concrete is not installed correctly.
Pressure from the water can cause the spalling effect and it must be corrected. The way the issue is repaired will depend on the problem.
With the home, the most common issue with spalling is found on a driveway, patio or sidewalk. When spalling occurs, it is most likely due to a mistake in the installation. Such mistakes can be adding too much water to the concrete mixture or not curing the concrete in the proper way.
When you have spalling marks, you do not have to rip out the concrete and start over. You can resurface the area so that the overlay repairs the issues. This can be done for a driveway, sidewalk or patio by using a ½ inch overlay.
This project can be completed yourself, but in most cases, it is best to leave the work to the experts. A concrete professional will know just what to do to ensure your concrete is repaired in the proper manner. The section of concrete will need to be defined with control joints and the area power washed before the new concrete can be added.
If you have noticed unusual marks on the concrete areas of your home, have a professional review the issue. Concrete can be repaired and having a professional by your side will ensure that your concrete is repaired in the right way, ensuring its integrity for years to come.