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I had a driveway poured in march 2008. By january 2009 cement was cracking and spalling. Know one seems to know why. Need some expert help on this. I contacted the contractor but he said it was the cement. The cement company said it was the contractor. Please help me I put all my savings in this driveway and it looks awful.

Re: needhelpconcrete

There are a couple of reasons you could be having the problems. The spalling can come from a bad concrete mix or a bad finishing job, or both. The cracks can also come from a bad mix or bad sub base preparation, or both. The situation of exchanging blame is typical between the concrete company and the contractor. I would suggest you read your contract. Are there any time guarantees on the concrete from the contractor? If not, I would have an attorney draw up a letter demanding the contractor and the cement company get together and make amends to you. Most contractors don't guarantee concrete work, but you should not be having this problem in such a short time. It is obviously shoddy workmanship. Good Luck.
Calcats ;)

Re: needhelpconcrete

I'd put my money on the concrete but it's the finisher's fault. It's probably not the batch plant's fault. The blame is on the finishers. Concrete, when ordered, is usually ordered at 2000-3000psf strength. This would be sufficient for a driveway but some finishers don't like to have to work at pulling the concrete into place. It's much easier to pull concrete that is "softer" than the really stiff/dry mix.

The easy way to make it softer is to add water to it. Once you've done that, you've altered the precise formula that the concrete company mixed for you. Now it's not 2000-3000psf conrete any longer. The water will make the surface easier to work too and it will cause the spalling that you're seeing.

Unfortunately, the finishers aren't going to take the blame and it's going to be difficult getting the concrete company to swallow it either. All their truck driver has to say is that he was told to add water to the mix before pouring and it's over.

Try your luck at getting someone to own up to the problem and in my humble opinion, if you get any concessions, you're ahead of the game.

Good Luck.

Timothy Miller
Re: needhelpconcrete

Howdy the problem can be caused from: poor soils compaction, not enough expansion cuts, poor concrete, to much water in the mix, worked too soon and too much. Installed when it is too cold or too hot. Do you live where there is salt applied to streets? Salt damage can cause spaulding. Experts recommend creating an expansion joint every 20 sqft for the slab.

Re: needhelpconcrete


It really gets my goat when people spend hard earned money and dont get what they paid for.

As for the advice that you received here..I'm a bit dissapointed, thus my letter...I'll give you straight answers and directions on how to solve your problem.

I need to know what state you live in, very important? Describe exactly what the concrete is doing, pictures would help allot. Is the surface "lifting" off in certain area's, commonly known as "scaleing"? Try to give me the best detailed explination as possible. How large of an area was placed? Just a driveway or was other concrete placed that day?

Depending on what is wrong with your concrete there are several steps that you can take to rectify this situation.


Ron remodeler
Re: needhelpconcrete

That is a shame. Concrete on a driveway needs a good support underneath,expansion joints, a good mesh inside and a firm mix not too watered down.

The rule of thumb is if you can work the concrete easily its too wet and weakened. Concrete in its ideal state is nearly dry looking and clumpy but enough water to make it workable is acceptable to a point.

Surface damage can be cause by the sun during curing where it dries the surface before it cures. An overly watered mix and even freezing or salt added during winter to remove snow can set concrete up to fail. Perhaps its scaling, as the terms may mean different things to people in the concrete field.

A good photo image would say a lot.
There may be some remedies, but the situation has to be better understood than the evidence you have supplied.

Re: needhelpconcrete

Hoping to bump this and get some response. Photo would be help along with region on the country. Asks for help then leaves us in the dark.

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