Spalling, Pitting, Flaking Spalling, Pitting, Flaking The adjective “spalled” has recently joined the American lexicon to describe concrete, so don’t feel ignorant if you don’t know what it means. Its original definition as a noun means “a small fragment or chip especially of stone“. If you hear the word “spalled” to describe the condition of your concrete, call our concrete repair team for Denver and area, and don’t ignore it – it means your concrete needs attended to … and the sooner the better! Spalled concrete generally looks like the top coat of your concrete slab is missing. Chips in the concrete are visible as well as exposed aggregate. Once spalling starts, it degrades fast because the first line of defense – the top coat of the concrete – is now gone and water is getting underneath what’s left and damaging the concrete slab. It’s only a matter of time before the entire top will break apart and degradation of your slab is accelerated. Causes of spalling are numerous – bad mix design and improper finishing techniques at the time of the original pour are the most common culprits. Use of deicing salts in the winter can aggravate a seemingly small spall problem and turn it into a big one. Freeze/thaw cycles, so common in Colorado in the wintertime, exacerbate spalling by causing water in the concrete to expand creating pressure that breaks a weak top layer of concrete. Spalled concrete can be repaired without having to replace the entire slab as long as it is properly repaired before too much damage has been done. If the slab has severely degraded, your only fix may be tearing it out and getting a new slab. If you see signs of spalling, please give us a call – we’re in the business of concrete repair and restoration and we can help.