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We’re here at Liberty Ready Mix want to offer insight on what this problem is and how you can prevent it from happening to your concrete, saving you time and money on problems that could arise later.

What is Scaling and What Causes It?

Scaling is the peeling or flaking off of a concrete surface due to multiple cycles of freezing and thawing. Scaling will be visible first as small, localized patches, but can eventually merge and cover larger areas. Scaling can be light, moderate, or severe based on the amount of exposed aggregate.

There are many different factors both before and during the concrete mixing process that can attribute to scaling.

Using Excessive Chemicals

Applying too many deicing chemicals can saturate the concrete and make it weak.

Insufficient Finishing and Curing

Even if the right mixture is used, insufficient curing and finishing of the concrete slab can result in a weak concrete surface.

Using The Wrong Type of Concrete

Mixing improper concrete or using the wrong proportions can make the concrete weaker when it comes to withstanding the type of weather and conditions it needs to. Using non-air-entrained concrete at the surface can also result in scaling.

Prevent Concrete Scaling

In order to best avoid scaling of concrete, follow these best practices:

  • For slabs that will be exposed to exterior elements, make sure the concrete has a strength of 4000 psi, as required by the Code for Residential Concrete.
  • Having enough air content within the concrete is crucial to prevent scaling. The recommended air content amount for slabs with ¾-1 inch of coarse aggregate is 6%.
  • Avoid over finishing the surface of the concrete. Doing this reduces any entrained air that was left on the surface.
  • Be careful when placing exterior concrete in seasons where temperatures can drastically fluctuate, such as late fall, winter, and early spring. Concrete that is exposed to freezing temperatures shortly after being laid could show signs of scaling.
  • If concrete is placed in the winter, applying a breathable concrete sealer or water repellent can help protect it from harsh weather conditions.

Quality Concrete Provider

If you are looking for exterior concrete mix that can withstand freezing and thawing cycles, Liberty Ready Mix offers mixes that reach up to 6000 psi and can support the needs of a variety of projects. Contact us today for concrete mixes, colors, and delivery!