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Spalled Concrete in a New Driveway
Sealers are a great way to protect concrete from spalling deterioration. A good-quality sealer designed for use on exterior concrete will help minimize water saturation and protect against salt damage. Even with a good sealer, the concrete itself remains the most important component in avoiding spalling (see The Correct Concrete Driveway Mix). In most cases, spalled concrete is caused by poor finishing and the use of water on the surface to aid in the finishing process. Excess water and overfinishing create a weak surface that can't handle freeze-thaw expansion and contraction. You should always get a signed contract with a concrete installer with specific warranty language dealing with spalling and cracking. To fix the spalling, you may need to resurface the driveway with an overlay (see How to Fix Spalled Concrete).
Author Chris Sullivan, ConcreteNetwork.com technical expert and vice president of sales and marketing for ChemSystems Inc.
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