5 Common Concrete Problems You Need to Watch For

Keep your concrete structures in top condition by regularly inspecting their surfaces for common problems and performing repairs when needed.

Learn how to avoid these common concrete problems.””Like all building materials, concrete degrades over time, but there are ways to slow wear and fix damages. Responding at the first sign of a problem is key, so you should perform routine inspections and contact a reliable concrete company for crucial repairs. The following information covers common concrete problems and the solutions that can preserve your structure’s appearance and stability.

1. Discoloration

Light or dark patches on concrete can result from improper installation techniques or stains from materials such as automobile fluids and cleaning chemicals. It is essential to address this damage as soon as you notice it to keep the discoloration from spreading across the entire slab of concrete. You can scrub the concrete with a stiff brush dipped in a diluted vinegar solution to restore its appearance and halt the progression of this problem. Stronger chemicals, such as hydrochloric acid or diammonium citrate, may be needed to resolve severe cases of discoloration. Because these solutions can make problems worse if applied incorrectly, it is a good idea to consult a concrete expert before using them.

2. Cracks

Cracks in concrete tend to start at the surface and work their way to the bottom of the slab over the course of several months. If you allow the cracks to reach through to the subgrade, you will need to fully replace the concrete structure to restore its strength and appearance. You can easily fix small cracks by cleaning loose material out of the damaged areas and filling the spaces with concrete filler. Applying a sealant product after the patch cures will help strengthen the repaired area.

3. Scaling

If you use de-icing salts on your concrete during winter months, the surface may start to show signs of scaling, or pitting. The loss of surface material will usually continue until you repair the damaged areas. The solution for this problem is a new layer of resurfacing concrete, which will require you to rough up the entire surface of the concrete structure to prepare it for the repair process. After you have applied the new layer of concrete and allowed the material to cure overnight, you should apply a waterproof finishing treatment to protect it further.

4. Crazing

A network of tiny cracks in the surface of concrete is referred to as crazing. Crazing often occurs due to improper mixing or curing during the installation process. Although these cracks do not extend down far enough to impact structural stability of the concrete, the fine lines may reduce the aesthetic value of your property. An experienced concrete company can prevent crazing through a quality installation process, but it may be possible to cover up this type of damage if you cannot proactively avoid it. If the crazing occurs on a decorative indoor concrete structure, you may be able to apply a layer of epoxy paint to cover up the unsightly cracks. Unfortunately, sealers and surface hardeners can make the cracks more noticeable, so a layer of resurfacing concrete is often the only option for concealing crazing on outdoor structures.

5. Buckling

If you have large trees on your property, the roots may grow under your concrete structure, causing the slab to buckle and split apart. Extreme freeze-thaw cycles and heat exposure can also cause the material to buckle. The only way to repair this type of damage is to remove the damaged portion of the concrete, along with any roots that may have caused the problem. You can then install a large patch to prevent the buckled area from causing adjacent structures to crack and split as well.

If you are looking for solutions to common concrete problems, contact Razorback Concrete at 870-455-0700 to speak with an experienced project manager and receive a free estimate.

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