What Will Spalling and Cracking Look Like After Road Salt?
After a harsh winter, the snow is finally gone and homeowners can breathe a sigh of relief. When snow accumulates in large amounts, it makes it difficult to complete daily tasks such as getting to school or work. During the winter, road crews and homeowners use salts and de-icing products to remove snow from driveways, sidewalks, and roadways. Due to the usage of such products, your concrete may be subject to spalling or cracking. Now that the snow is gone, it is recommended that homeowners review the concrete areas for any damage.
The most common form of damage to concrete outdoors is scaling. This term is used to describe the delamination of a thin layer of the concrete area’s surface. Scaling usually takes place mid-slab or away from the edges. In a mild case of spalling, the issue is just superficial. You may just notice freckled spots on your concrete. When you have painted or stained concrete, the surface may appear to have light or white spots.
In general, scaling issues are caused by issues from the installation of the concrete, such as the water-cement ratio was incorrect during mixing or the finishing process. However, with salt and de-icing products, scaling problems can be accelerated.
Another term used to describe concrete issues is spalling. This is a type of damage that affects the surface of concrete but more deeply within a slab. Spalling usually occurs on the edges, found in joints or cracks. Spalling will go as deep as 1/8 an inch to several inches deep within the concrete slab.
When you have an area that is damaged, the freeze-thaw cycle of winter can increase expansion and contraction of the concrete. This increases the chances of spalling issues. If salt is used as a de-icer on your concrete, the sodium chloride will create an oxidation process. While this can play a role, the usual culprit of spalling is issues with the curing process of your concrete.
When it comes to a spalling issue, the concrete slab does not have to be replaced. A resurfacing process can be completed to provide quality results. By resurfacing the concrete slab, you are providing an overlay of concrete to fix the spalling issue.
In some cases, the resurfacing can be done by the homeowner. However, if you do not have experience in dealing with concrete, then you might want to leave the work to the experts. Larger areas of concrete such as patios or driveways may require more detailed work than a smaller concrete sidewalk or pathway.
An expert in concrete will be able to review your issue and provide a solution. In many cases, a resurfacing of the concrete does the trick to provide a smooth and durable surface once again.
If you have dealt with winter weather and heavy snows, review your concrete areas, including driveways and sidewalks. If you see any damage, contact a concrete expert for assistance.