Scaling Concrete


Surface deterioration of exterior flat work following snow/ice events is a recurring issue in the Hampton Roads area. The freeze/thaw exposure is exacerbated by the use of de-icing chemicals, and the deterioration of concrete is more prevalent in work that is less than two years old.
VDOT and local municipalities in Hampton Roads use these de-icing chemicals to clear hazardous road conditions during and after snow or ice storms. The solution used by VDOT is a combination of sand, calcium, sodium, and magnesium chloride. This solution is also sold in local hardware stores and used by homeowners to melt ice or snow from walkways and driveways. It can also become packed in the snow on the bottom of vehicles and later melts and drips onto driveways. The solution is absorbed into the pores of the concrete surface which may refreeze while the solution is still present causing deterioration of the surface concrete known as scaling. 
The building industry understands the frustration that homeowners may be experiencing after seeing their driveways begin scaling. However, this is not the result of faulty materials or improper installation by the contractor, but rather of an aggressive attack from de-icing chemicals that have been deposited on the concrete surface. Whether the chemicals were applied intentionally or not, contractors and builders do not feel it is their responsibility to cover any damage caused as a result.
Solutions that may help reduce the likelihood of scaling to occur would be to remove the snow/ice and wash broom the area immediately. If you must drive during these types of conditions, you may want to consider parking on the road until the vehicle can be washed.
For additional information click here or contact one of the local concrete suppliers about scaling.