Colorado winters are tough on concrete. When water turns to ice it expands about 9%. If that water has settled into even a hairline crack, it can mean big damage when the temperatures drop.
Whether it’s in a parking structure, concrete slab, or foundation wall, damage can occur with the first freeze-thaw cycle and will worsen exponentially with every cycle.
Hidden & Visible Concrete Distress
There are many ways concrete is stressed in these winter months. Some damage is visible and other damage occurs below the surface. You may experience:
- Enlarged and new cracks in your concrete
- Water damage in your building
- Plastic shrinkage creates cracks typically two to four inches deep and 1/8” wide on horizontal surfaces exposed to the atmosphere. These cracks can form in cold weather conditions when the temperature of the concrete is high compared with the surrounding air temperature. The concrete dries, shrinks, and cracks due to rapid moisture loss.
- Scaling (sometimes called mortar flaking) is visual or microscopic flaking or peeling of a finished, hardened, concrete surface created by hydraulic pressures from repeated freeze-thaw cycles within the concrete. The expansive forces caused by the ice are exacerbated with deicing chemicals which increase saturation and the number of freeze-thaw cycles.
- Spalling is when surfaces peel, pop out or flake off due to water entering the concrete.
- Popout is a cone-shaped fragment of concrete caused when winter moisture freezes and expands, creating internal pressure that ruptures the aggregate surface.
- Popoff is an exposed coarse aggregate particle that is caused by pressure buildup when the moisture in the mortar above the aggregate freezes. This is usually the result of poor quality concrete mixtures, improper finishing or inadequate curing. Deicing salts may aggravate this issue.
How You Can Prevent Problems
Preventive care for your concrete is important any time of the year, but it is especially vital during the winter months. Don’t wait until you can see big problems.
Save money and increase the lifespan of your Colorado property with HEXA’s concrete repair services. On a regular schedule, our concrete experts will identify and repair what seem to be innocent cracks before they can do more damage.
Contact us today to let us know how we can help prevent problems tomorrow!