Concrete, known for its durability and strength, can sometimes develop an issue known as spalling. Spalling occurs when the surface of the concrete begins to flake, chip, or peel off. This not only affects the appearance of the concrete but also poses potential safety risks.
In this article, we will take a look at some of the common causes of spalling along with some effective spalling repair solutions.
Causes of Spalling
There are many different factors that can cause spalling in a concrete surface, and most of these are related to moisture penetrating the concrete as well as freeze-thaw cycles. Here are some of the common causes.
Concrete is a very porous material, which allows water and moisture to seep into the concrete slab. In colder climates where temperatures drop below freezing, the water within the concrete freezes and expands. As the water expands when it turns into ice, it exerts a tremendous amount of pressure on the concrete around it, which can lead to cracking and flaking.
Salt and Deicers
Another common occurrence in colder climates is the use of salt and deicing chemicals. When these substances are combined with ice, they effectively lower the freezing temperature of ice, which allows the ice to melt even in extremely cold temperatures. However, the use of de-icing salts and chemicals can penetrate the surface of the concrete and accelerate its deterioration.
When concrete slabs are not properly sealed, they become vulnerable to moisture infiltration, and this is an issue that can occur year-round. When water reaches the center of a concrete slab, it can cause the steel rebars inside the slab to rust. As the steel rusts, it expands and weakens the concrete.
Defective Concrete Mixtures
When concrete is mixed using an inadequate water-to-cement ratio, this can result in weak, porous surfaces that are prone to spalling. When concrete is mixed with too much or too little water, this can result in poorly mixed concrete that is not able to set up properly.
Timely intervention is needed to address spalling and prevent further cracking and flaking. If the problem is left untreated, it can lead to irreparable damage to the concrete slab. Here are some effective solutions for spalling repair.
For most types of minor spalling, you can generally patch the surface with specialized spalling repair products that will restore the appearance and integrity of the concrete. After thoroughly cleaning the damaged area, a bonding agent is applied before adding the patching material and smoothing out the surface.
When spalling is allowed to create more extensive damage, it may be necessary to resurface the entire slab of concrete. In order to resurface a piece of concrete, the entire slab will need to be cleaned and, in some cases, ground down to leave a surface that is free of debris and loose chunks. Once the surface is ready, a thin layer of new concrete will be spread over the existing surface to create a fresh and uniform appearance.
Epoxy coating is another great solution for spalling repair because it will not only repair the damaged concrete but also provide a protective layer that can prevent further spalling. Because epoxy is an extremely dense and tough material, it is able to effectively keep the existing material in place when it adheres to the concrete surface.
Epoxy Power by BMI
If you have a concrete floor, driveway, sidewalk, or patio that is showing signs of spalling, then it is important to take a proactive approach to spalling repair to prevent further damage. Here at Epoxy Power by BMI, we are experts in repairing and protecting all types of concrete surfaces.
Epoxy Power by BMI services all of greater Los Angeles, California, and the surrounding areas. If you would like to learn more about how we can save and restore concrete surfaces in your home or business, click here to get a free quote from one of our knowledgeable representatives!