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Definitions

Heaving: Results when water tables are high which swells soil below the sub-grade.

Cracking: Results with soil or sub-grade movement, rebar will help keep cracks hairline.

Scaling/Shaling/Peeling: Flaking or peeling of the top finished surface of the concrete. This is due to thermal cycling weakening the top surface of the concrete and is worsened by de-icing salts and minerals.

Iron staining (rust spots): Dark orange/red spots called surface pyrite oxidizing at the surface.

Pitting (rock pops): Wet or soft porous rock near the surface freezes in the winter, resulting in "pop" of the concrete paste above the rock.

Efflorescence: Efflorescence is a crystalline deposit of water-soluble salts (usually white) on the surface of masonry. Efflorescence that occurs on new construction after the masonry dries is referred to as "new building bloom". New building bloom is generally an unsightly nuisance and no cause for concern, as it will normally weather off within a few months to a year.

FAQ

Does concrete crack?

Concrete does and will crack.  This is obviously not ideal, however in most cases, it is bound to happen. This is why we install crack control joints where the concrete is most likely to crack. The hope is that, if the concrete is going to crack, it will crack along these control joints. Typically, concrete will crack very soon after it is poured, often the same day. We do everything we can to control cracking, but there is NO GUARANTEE that concrete will not crack in other places.

Is it possible to match an exact colour?

Another common misconception is colour. It is not possible for us to match exact colour of your entrance area to your sidewalk or to your driveway. Sometimes even your driveway may not match exactly since most driveways need two or more truckloads of concrete. This is especially true if concrete placements are made on different days (which is necessary sometimes) or if you have colour added to your concrete. Most of these colour variations are minor and most will fade over time.

Does concrete last indefinitely?

A common misconception is that your driveway or sidewalk surface will last and hold indefinitely. Unfortunately, this is not true. Exterior concrete is subject to inclement weather, sunlight exposure and heavy vehicle traffic. These result in normal wear and tear on the surface of the concrete. While concrete is a very durable product, it is not always without its flaws. Sometimes the surface of the concrete may appear to be popping or flaking off. If this is minimal (a few here or there) it is quite possible that one or more stones close to the surface popped out. This is nothing to worry about since the integrity of the slab is not compromised.

Why is the textured finish of my concrete different than my neighbours'?

It is possible that your patio and driveway may appear to have a different texture or finish than that of your neighbor's concrete, even though the same finish was applied to both. This is common and is no cause for concern. Concrete is a wearing surface and will change over time.