crumbling concreteConcrete is known as one of the toughest construction materials available. It is composed of the binding agent cement along with an aggregate that is usually comprised of small to large pieces of gravel. Crumbling or flaking on the concrete surface is called spalling. Damaged concrete is not only unsightly but also dangerous if not addressed properly. Here is what you need to know about what causes concrete to crumble.

Freezing and Thawing

While concrete is known to be a very stable material, consistent freezing and thawing can cause it to become weak. According to concrete delivery Minneapolis MN experts, concrete remains porous and tends to absorb water. If this water gets trapped inside when it freezes, it will push the cement binder apart. The resulting expansion and contraction when the water melts again causes it to crumble. If you live in a climate region with winter weather that is cold enough to freeze water, sealing your concrete walkways and steps at least once a year can really do a lot in preventing spalling.


According to ready mix concrete delivery Minneapolis MN providers, gravel used as the concrete aggregate feature certain mineral deposits that leech out slowly causing cracking and crumbling of concrete. Pyrites is usually the main cause of this problem in residential concrete. Other mineral of concern are silica and mica0, which cause deterioration if present in large amounts. Sophisticated concrete testing methods prevent these problems in new concrete but concrete used in older construction may be prone to this problem.

De-icing Salt

It is very dangerous to use a frost-covered concrete driveway. Therefore, sprinkling a bit of rock salt in order to encourage melting can offer the necessary traction needed but may also damage the surface of the concrete. Rock salt causes pitting and crumbling as a result of a chemical reaction. The use of alternative de-icing crystals such as magnesium chloride and potassium chloride can prevent this issue from occurring.

Wrong Water Ratio

If you do not follow properly the manufacturer recommendations when it comes to mixing concrete for your DIY projects, chances are you either have placed too much which can cause concrete to be weak or too little which makes it too hard. Use only as much water as the mix instructions indicate so as to prevent weak concrete that crumbles easily when exposed to pressure.

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