As unfortunate and time-consuming as it can be, concrete does need to be properly maintained and taken care of over time. Many people do not realize that concrete can’t just be poured and left, and this is what can lead to problems down the line. However, the elements can also take a toll on your concrete. Things like spalling or crumbling are usually due to the elements and not due to human neglect. Let’s find out more about spalling or crumbling concrete.
What is spalling concrete? How does it happen? Spalling concrete is when the concrete begins to flake and fall away in sheets or pieces. This is usually not due to any error in the pouring of the concrete, but rather the way that it set up and was dried. If it did not dry properly and moisture seeps into the concrete, then years down the line, you will experience problems like this with spalling. This can also occur because of freezing and thawing of water around the concrete. Plus, frequent high pressure washing, or sandblasting can cause this issue.We’ve all seen foundation walls with spalling, or steps that are falling away. These are all due to this process. They are not necessarily from human neglect, and sometimes they just come with time. Spalling can definitely be annoying, though, and there are a few solutions available.
Crumbling concrete is similar to spalling concrete, but it may literally be falling off in chunks. Crumbling concrete may start as spalling concrete and devolve until it reaches crumbling stage. However, crumbling concrete can also be from old age or from exposure to harsh elements. Concrete needs to be replaced every so often as it will not last forever. However, many people are not aware of this. This leads to disasters with crumbling, unsafe sidewalks and steps that no one wants to pay to fix. Unfortunately, these are safety hazards and could lead to injury. They should be taken care of as soon as you notice that they are crumbling or spalling because it will only get worse from that point, it will not get better!
What are the solutions to this dilemma? Can it be fixed, or is it better to just re-pour the concrete? What about a D.I.Y. job to cover up the spalling or re-attach the crumbling pieces? These are all questions you might have, and they’re great questions! Let’s answer them.
A Do-It-Yourself (D.I.Y.) job is questionable in this situation because this is work that should be done by a contractor or concrete specialist. If you tried to re-attach crumbling pieces, this will not solve the problem. You would not have fixed the root of the problem, and more pieces would continue to fall off. There’s a difference, in this case, between a cracked and crumbling piece of concrete. However, in either case, a trained professional needs to look at the issue and find out what’s going on.
A lot of the times the first instinct is to re-pour the concrete in all situations. However, in most situations, that is not necessarily the best option. In this case, depending on the inspection, it may be better to re-pour. However, there are solutions available for repair.
The biggest solution should be getting water away from your concrete. Make sure downspouts are far away, water is able to drain away instead of pool against it, and the concrete is properly graded so it doesn’t all pool in the middle or at the end. This can be a big problem for the stability of the concrete. Additionally, try to pressure wash or sand blast your driveway to help keep its integrity. If the spalling or crumbling is intense, it may need epoxy injections. These will fill and correct cracks and lines and get the concrete back to its original state. However, if the damage is too extreme, the slab may need re-poured.
If you think you have spalling or crumbling concrete, it’s time to call Custom Concrete & Foundation Specialists. We are experts in the area, and we’re happy to help you figure out the right solution for your concrete. Give us a call today and we can get you started!