Clouse Concrete Construction, Inc.

Building a concrete future from a solid past.

Concrete Facts & Care

Common Issues with Concrete:

Scaling Concrete Surfaces

  • Local flaking or peeling of finished surface on hardened concrete
  • A result of exposure to freezing and thawing
  • Compounded by the presence of moisture and de-icing salts
  • Also aggravated by fertilizers with ammonium sulfate or ammonium nitrate
  • Begins as localized small patches and later extends to expose larger areas
  • In severe situations, much of the surface is lost and the aggregate is clearly exposed and stands out. With proper care the chance of scaling can be reduced.
    • See Concrete Care section

Plastic Shrinking Surfaces

  • Appears on the surface of fresh concrete
  • Fissures are usually parallel to each other, about 1 to 3 feet apart, relatively shallow, and do not intersect the perimeter of the slab
  • Caused by the surface drying out before it the concrete has set (high evaporation rates)
  • Wind velocity in excess of 5 mph, low relative humidity, and high rotating and or concrete temperatures are the main causes of the problem
  • Plastic shrinkage cracks are unsightly but rarely impair the strength or durability of concrete floors and pavements

Crazing Concrete Surfaces

  • The development of a network of fine random cracks or fissures on the surface of concrete or mortar
  • Cracks are rarely more than 1/8 inch deep
  • Generally are developed between the day of and a week after pouring
  • Usually not readily visible until the surface has been wetted and is beginning to dry out
  • Caused by rapid surface drying (high evaporation rates)
  • High evaporation rates are caused by low humidity, high temperatures, direct sunlight, and drying winds on a concrete surface when the concrete is just beginning to gain strength
  • Crazing concrete surfaces do not affect the structural integrity of the concrete
  • Rarely do they affect the durability or wear resistance

Sound familiar? Call us at (765) 529-4104!

Concrete Care

  • Proper curing with a liquid membrane curing compound can reduce the risk of scaling
    • Curing ensures the proper reaction of cement with water, known as hydration
    • Allows the concrete to achieve its highest potential strength
    • Normally included with all our installation at no additional cost
  • Do not use de-icing salts, such as calcium or sodium chloride, in the first year after placing the concrete
  • When conditions permit, hose off accumulation of salt deposited by cars on newly placed driveways and garage slabs
  • Never use ammonium sulfate or ammonium nitrate (often found in fertilizers) as a deicer; these are chemically aggressive and destroy concrete surfaces
    • Instead, use clean sand for traction
  • Be sure concrete surface drains properly
    • Poor drainage permits salt and water to stand on the surface for extended periods of time
    • This greatly increases the severity of the exposure that causes scaling
  • Protect concrete from the harsh winter environment
    • Apply a commercially available breathable concrete sealer or water repellent specifically designed for use on concrete slabs
    • Late summer is the ideal time for surface treatment

Clouse Concrete Construction, Inc.

Serving central Indiana since 1937