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Your concrete scaled. Why it happened – and why fixing it is easier than you think

  • Date: 4-29-2019
  • By: Jennifer Crisman

Concrete driveways, walkways, and pavement are popular for their longevity and low maintenance. But winter weather and all that comes with it: freezing, thawing, and de-icing, can expose weaknesses within the concrete and cause defects in the concrete surface. The most common defect observed after a long winter is scaling. Scaling occurs when the top layer of concrete – which is about 1/16th of an inch thick – chips, flakes or peels away. Most concrete surface scaling is caused by:

  1. No (or low) air entrainment.
    Entrained air is required for protection against freeze-thaw damage. However, even air-entrained concrete can scale if exposed to the conditions listed below.
  2. Exposure to de-icing salts.
    Application of excessive amounts of calcium or sodium chloride de-icing salts on concrete with inadequate strength, air entrainment, or curing can lead to scaling.
  3. Poor finishing practices.
    Finishing bleed water into the fresh concrete surface will produce a high water/cement ratio at the surface and, therefore, a surface with low-strength and poor durability. Also, overworking the concrete during finishing will reduce the air content in the surface layer, making it susceptible to scaling in freezing and thawing conditions.
  4. Insufficient curing.
    No or inadequate curing often results in a weak surface skin, which will scale if it is exposed to freezing and thawing in the presence of moisture and deicing salts.

Tear-out and full replacement of a scaled concrete surface is an expensive endeavor. Euco Re-Cover is an affordable, simple solution to refinish scaled concrete and provide an attractive, durable surface that will withstand years of winter weather without deteriorating.

Euco Re-Cover is a single component, easy to apply cementitious overlay reinforced with polymer and micro-fiber to ensure a strong bond and long-term durability even under the harshest of conditions. Euco Re-Cover can be broomed or trowel finished and has a natural light gray color that provides a uniform, slip resistant texture. Euco Re-Cover is perfect for resurfacing of pool decks, sidewalks, driveways, plazas, and parking lots, and can even be used to give a fresh look to old concrete retaining walls. For more information on Euco Re-Cover, visit the product page.

About the Author

Jennifer Crisman, Director of Marketing Services


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