Tips for Preventing Spalling in Your Concrete Driveway

Spalling, or surface scaling, in concrete driveways happens when the top layer of finished concrete, usually polished and smooth, flakes off due to water damage and reveals the aggregate material beneath. This occurrence is prevalent in areas that suffer harsher winters and where concrete is exposed to freeze-thaw conditions. You may opt to fix the spalling on your driveway in Murfreesboro yourself, but if the damage is extensive, installation of an all-new concrete driveway may be necessary.

Use the Right Amount of Material

To prevent your concrete driveway from spalling, you need to start with the proper concrete mix, which comprises a specific ratio of sand, cement, and aggregate to make porous, or air-entrained, concrete. Since water trapped in concrete expands and contracts in freeze-thaw conditions, it needs someplace appropriate to go. Otherwise, the exerted pressure from repeated expansions and contractions will weaken the structural integrity of concrete, causing it to crack and flake. Of course, the best way to ensure the proper mixture is to hire a concrete contractor.

Practice Proper Troweling Techniques

Scaling problems may result from the way wet concrete is smoothed out with a trowel. Troweling is a delicate matter, and one that’s best left to the professionals. Care must be taken not to compress the wet mixture too much or to over-finish it. If the mixture is overworked, excessive moisture will be brought to the surface, and it will cause you trouble once the concrete cures. Also, remember not to add extra water to the wet concrete while troweling. Some people do this to help their trowels glide across the sticky surface. However, this practice will inevitably cause spalling.

Seal New Concrete with a Waterproof Sealer

Preventing Spalling in Your Concrete Driveway | Murfreesboro To deter spalling, apply a deeply penetrating, water-repelling sealer over your driveway. By preventing water from seeping into concrete in the first place, you will spare yourself from a lot of heartache later. You should seal your driveway every few years as a part of its routine maintenance schedule. Furthermore, you should consult a concrete contractor if you have any concerns or if you need your driveway surfaces restored.