Go back
Driveways & Resin Surfacing

How To Fix Concrete Driveway Scaling

If you have spent your hard earned savings on replacing your old driveway with a beautiful new concrete one, you will expect that it will maintain its good looks for many years to come. 

In most cases, you can expect that this will be the case, but sometimes, your new driveway may be affected by a condition called concrete scaling. 

If this happens to you, it may lead you to wonder if you made the right choice regarding the type of material for your driveway. 

Thankfully, scaling can be solved if you take the right steps, as the following article reveals...

how-to-fix-concrete-driveway-scaling3_0.jpg

What Is Concrete Scaling?

This is a problem that shows itself as the top layer of your concrete starting to flake and peel. The result is a driveway that looks patchy and nothing like what you thought you were paying for. 

It is caused by a number of factors, but is mostly to do with the freeze and thaw cycle that can affect surfaces during the Winter months. 

Water in the driveway will freeze, causing it to expand, and thereby damaging the surface. In most cases, this causes cracks, but if it occurs near the surface, it can result in a crumbling and flaky look to the concrete. 

While it is still structurally sound, it will inevitably lose its good looks. There are a few other reasons why freezing and thawing can cause issues, including the following:

●    Scaling can be the result of the use of salt on a driveway that has not yet fully cured. Concrete can take as long as two years to cure properly, and many people do not realise that the use of salt during the winter months can cause this damage. Mostly this is caused by turning snow and ice into water that freezes and affects the surface.
●    Concrete that has been allowed to dry out, freeze or overheat can suffer from scaling. This is generally due to the curing process not taking place in the usual way. The curing process ensures that the concrete reaches its desired strength; any disruption to this can cause problems.
●    Water that is trapped in the concrete while it is setting can also be affected by freezing temperatures; this too can lead to scaling. A certain amount of water in concrete is normal, but too much can lead to issues.
●    The use of chemicals on a concrete driveway can also affect the surface and this can lead to further issues related to the freeze/thaw cycle.

how-to-fix-concrete-driveway-scaling2.jpg

The concrete should be left to dry for 30 days before any exposure to freezing weather, and chemicals (including salt) should not be used on the surface for at least three months-or even longer if the concrete is laid during the Winter

Preventing Scaling: An Overview

The first and most important step when it comes to preventing concrete scaling is to ensure that an expert concrete layer has installed your driveway. Only very experienced driveway contractors will understand the importance of choosing the right concrete mix for your local conditions.

It is recommended that concrete with a minimum compressive strength of 4,000 psi is used for driveways, and that there is a maximum water to cement ratio of 0.45. 

Once the carefully chosen and prepared concrete has been laid, it is crucial that the contractor follows the right steps to ensure the curing process takes place correctly.

Time should be taken to allow for water to release from the concrete and evaporate. This involves grooving and edging with a special tool designed to allow water and air to come to the surface. 

Once laid, the concrete needs to cure by either covering with a plastic sheet, or spraying with curing compounds. 

how-to-fix-concrete-driveway-scaling.jpg

The material that can be used to repair your driveway will include concrete and epoxy fillers that are designed to be used on small sections of scaling and cracks

Fixing Concrete Scaling: 5 Key Points To Consider

Once your driveway has been affected by scaling, your only option to improve how it looks is to resurface it. This means adding a further layer of concrete to hide the problem. 

You could also choose to lay a different surface over the concrete as long as it is sound in other ways, and is not prone to cracking.

These new surfaces could include imprinted concrete, a layer of paving stones or bricks, and, in some cases, a tarmac covering. 

There are a few rules when it comes to fixing scaling on your concrete driveway:

●    You can only successfully repair damage that is less than one third of the thickness of the overall poured driveway.
●    You should try to lift all of the loose material from the driveway before you begin the repair. Failure to do this will result in the patch not adhering to the driveway surface, and starting to lift off over time.
●    Any area that is to be repaired should be carefully cleaned, and all cracked areas filled with a concrete filler. You can than either patch where necessary, or resurface the entire driveway.
●    If you are patching, it is always better to cut away a squared section of driveway to achieve clean, concise edges.
●    Only resurface or patch when the temperature is stable and not too cold. You don’t want your hard work to be ruined by another freeze thaw cycle. This was the cause of your initial problems after all!

For larger areas, you may need to pour new concrete after removing the old section of driveway.

how-to-fix-concrete-driveway-scaling1.jpg

Your driveway is the first part of your home that people see. You want to make sure that it represents you as you would want. A concrete driveway that is cracking and scaling is unlikely to give that first impression you hope to convey

Resin Bound Surfacing: The Ideal Material

What you really need (especially if you live in an area where your driveway may be prone to freezing and thawing cycles) is a driveway that is flexible, long lasting and unlikely to crack or scale. Resin bound driveways fit this criteria and much more.

Your resin bound driveway is created using a mixture of aggregate and resin that has been mixed together in a special mixer. This is then pressed into an asphalt surface. 

The result is a permeable driveway surface that does not retain water, and is therefore not prone to freezing. 

Your resin bound driveway will also last as long as 30 years, making it better than even the longest lasting concrete driveway.

While a clean and new concrete driveway can look great, a resin bound driveway gives you the option to choose almost any colour you wish. 

You simply choose the colour stone that you want and your driveway will take on that colour. This will not fade over time - as long as a UV protective resin has been used.

Your driveway is the first part of your home that people see. You want to make sure that it represents you as you would want. A concrete driveway that is cracking and scaling is unlikely to give that first impression you hope to convey. 

If you choose resin bound material, however, you might just be pleased you made the long-term investment.

Desperately seeking a failproof scaling solution? Resin bound surfacing enables you to achieve this aim-and is SUDs compliant to boot. Take the first step to total driveway transformation today, by calling 0800 1700 636, or, alternatively, bu clicking the button below.