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Concrete is one of the most durable building materials, but it does require occasional repair and maintenance.
Problems can be caused by outside forces such as freezing water, structural problems or surface damage, which is usually caused by improper finishing methods or poorly mixed concrete.
Whatever the cause, it's best to tackle concrete problems as soon as you discover them. Repair projects can span a wide range, from sealing a surface to replacing an entire structure. The most common repairs are filling cracks and repairing surface damage. Another solution is resurfacing-covering an old surface with fresh concrete. A good surface repair can last for many years, but if there is underlying structural damage, it is only a temporary solution.
Common Concrete Problems
Problem: Dirty or stained concrete
Solution: Splotches or stains on concrete surfaces can usually be removed by a professional powerwasher. Sealing the surface against spills can prevent this.
Problem: Cracked or chipped concrete
Solution: Often fissure openings in the surface or small pieces breaking away are signs of future problems. Take these tiny signals seriously and have a contractor check out the problems and make repairs.
Problem: Concrete edge is cracked or broken
Solution: Unfortunately, any hard surface can chip or break away at the edges. Commonly caused by impact or erosion, cracks can be fixed if the problem is small.
Problem: Flaking concrete
Solution: If you see the surface breaking away, this may signal that the concrete mixture may be flawed. Concrete's unique blend of elements gives it strength and durability. Flaking is not a common characteristic.
Flaking can also be a sign that the concrete was poured during cold weather. A strong freeze will cause the new surface to become brittle and can make the surface prone to flaking. Some surfaces can be repaired by a professional, however, if damage is deeper, the pad will need replacing.
Solution: Settling is a common cause of damage as soils shift up and down over time. Concrete is designed for strength, but not necessarily for extreme flexibility. Small shifts are okay, but larger shifts will damage concrete. Settling is often a serious and expensive problem. In most cases, repair is not an option.
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