Concrete that has pitted, flaked, or broken up is called spalling or spading concrete. This could result from improper installation, excessive tension, or environmental variables that deteriorate concrete. Although the damage may be aesthetic, it may result in structural problems. It has the potential to destroy the reinforcing bars embedded in the concrete.

As a result, it is critical to address concrete spalling issues as soon as they are noticed. Spalling is indicated by a rough and flaky surface and the fracture of some concrete fragments. This might be remedied by excavating the damaged piece and filling it with cement.

Causes of Spading Concrete

Improper placement of concrete

Spading concrete is caused by various factors, including the poor placing of the concrete and its reinforcing, electrochemical (galvanic) interactions between embedded metals within the concrete matrix, and corrosion of embedded reinforcing steel caused by exposure to water and chemicals.


The concrete’s moisture expands as the temperature drops below zero degrees Fahrenheit, creating internal pressure. Over time and through varying internal pressures, concrete’s surface layer is stressed, allowing spalling to occur.

Wet or saturated concrete spall faster and extensively the drier the concrete is. According to some experts, moisture concentrations of more than 3% by weight will result in spalling, although the permeability of the concrete determines this limiting number; the lower the permeability, the greater the risk of spalling; and a higher temperature also raises the risk of spalling.


Extended heating may also cause parts of concrete cover to fall away, a process known as sloughing. The mechanisms underlying sloughing are not well understood. However, it is recognized that it begins at the corners of beams and slabs and appears to spread parallel to the outer surface along a line of weakness. Since sloughing occurs late in a fire exposure, some consider it to be less concerning than explosive spalling, which occurs earlier in a fire exposure.

Can concrete spalling be repaired?

In most cases, concrete can be repaired right on the surface when the spalling damage is less than 1/3 the thickness of the concrete. 

The overlay should be completely dry before a waterproofing membrane is applied to prevent future spalling. Repairing random or localized damage with patches is a possible method.

You can follow the steps below: 

Select a concrete resurfacing product.

Resurfacing materials such as Rapid Set NewCrete (available at The Home Depot) are specially created to restore dull concrete, making it quick and easy for homeowners to handle spalling without hiring a contractor. Distribute the resurfacing material over the existing spalled concrete surface to create a new, immaculate finish.

NewCrete stands out in particular since it simplifies and expedites the process. For one thing, it is rarely necessary to use a primer. 

Additionally, you can consider the job completed as soon as the product is applied, as NewCrete cures on its own in the majority of cases. After only 60 to 90 minutes, you can resume regular driveway use.

Driveway surfaces must be thoroughly cleaned.

To begin, let us consider the following: Clean the driveway thoroughly with a pressure washer, removing dirt, dust, and debris—in fact, any foreign material that could potentially interfere with adhesion and bonding. 

Keep in mind that if you do not own a pressure washer, you may rent one for a half-day at your local home improvement store. A manual grinder may be required before utilizing the pressure washer in rare instances.

Get your materials and tools ready.

Do not forget to check the weather. If temperatures are above 50 degrees, you can proceed with confidence. The only tools required are a long-handled squeegee and a cordless drill equipped with a paddle-style mixer. 

Make sure all materials are ready before you begin the project, so you don’t go back and forth midway through. After assembling your tools, it’s time to mix and apply the resurfacer.

Mix and apply the resurfacer.

According to the manufacturer’s recommendations, combine the resurfacer and water in a bucket, tub, or wheelbarrow. Then, combine the two with your drill’s paddle attachment until a lump-free consistency resembling pancake batter is achieved. If the mixture appears too thick, add a little more water; add additional mix if it seems too thin.

Following that, carefully dampen the driveway and use a tiny amount of the mixture to pre-fill any cracks or holes. After that, pour the remaining resurfacer onto the driveway and push and pull the material across the surface with your long-handled squeegee. This is to form an even layer up to an eighth inch thick.

Contact a professional

Spading is common in older, framed buildings and structures, but it can also occur when concrete is poured or sealed poorly. Cracks and bulges on the concrete’s surface indicate the presence of spalling.

It is always an excellent choice to consult a professional contractor to help you with your inquiries. Contact Paragon Remodeling today, and we’d be happy to assist you.