What Is Spalling Concrete | Causes of Spalling in Concrete | Repairing Concrete Spalding

What Is Spalling Concrete | Causes of Spalling in Concrete | Repairing Concrete Spalding

What Is Spalling of Concrete?

What Is Spalling of Concrete?

Spalling of concrete at fires is the breaking-off of layers of a concrete surface in response to applied heat.

Spalling may be either localized or widespread depending upon the fire and concrete condition, particularly moisture content, and the susceptibility to the break-up of heat-unstable aggregate particles.

Also Read: 17 Types of Properties of Cement | Physical Properties of Cement | Chemical Properties of Cement

Causes of Spalling in Concrete

Causes of Spalling in Concrete

  • On prolonged heating areas of concrete cover may also fall away, a process that is sometimes called ‘sloughing.’
  • The processes causing sloughing aren’t generally reported, although it is noted that it occurs from corners of beams and slabs and seems to spread along a plane of weakness parallel to the outer surface.
  • Because ‘sloughing‘ occurs late in a fire exposure, it is considered by some as being of less concern than explosive spalling that occurs earlier upon exposure to fire.
  • Understanding explosive spalling is important because of the potential for loss in the section of the concrete element, the depth of fire-affected concrete, and the reduced protection to embedded steel.
  • Spalling is a frequently observed phenomenon in a fire, more prominently on soffits of slabs and on beams because of the greater exposure to heat and possibly heat ‘entrapment.’
  • It is not certain that this frequent observation is fully anticipated by design codes, and this is discussed in more detail below in the section on design codes.
  • The prediction of the risk of spalling occurrence has not proven easy despite considerable research. The propensity to spell is influenced by the moisture content of the concrete.
  • The permeability of the concrete, the rate of heating, the nature of the aggregate, and the load applied to the concrete.
  • Although these separate contributing mechanisms have been identified, their relative contribution and their interaction are less well understood.
  • There are, however, general trends that can be established. Concretes in a moist or saturated condition will spell faster and, more extensively, the drier the concrete.
  • Some guidance (Malhotra, 1984; Concrete Society, 1998) suggests that moisture contents greater than 3% by weight will lead to spalling, although this ‘limiting’ value may be affected by the permeability of the concrete; the lower the permeability, the higher the risk of spalling, a higher temperature also increases the risk.
  • Some research also shows that elements under higher structural load during the fire have an increased risk of spalling. These issues are discussed in greater detail in the following sections.

Also Read: All About Transportation of Concrete | What Is Transportation of Concrete | Methods for Transportation of Concrete

Measures to Prevent Concrete Spalling

Measures to Prevent Concrete Spalling

  • In a concrete floor slab, Early-entry dry-cut helps prevent spalling.
  • Apply good water to the finished surface to prevent water from entering the concrete.
  • Prevent excess water in the concrete mixture since it leads to concrete spalling.
  • Proper working management of concrete during pouring to ensure the provision of adequate cover and placement of joints at correct positions.

Also Read: Types of Concrete Construction Joints | Tips on Placing Joints in Concrete | Tips on Placing Joints in Concrete

Repairing Concrete Spalding

Repairing Concrete Spalding

There is a number of solutions that can be offered depending on the severity of a condition.

The solution to this may require that less labor-intensive repairs be done. Here are some of the ideas you could use to Repairing a spalled concrete.

  1. Once you notice a damaged concrete, if it’s less than 1/3 of its thickness, the repair could be done. But when it’s deeper, you might install a steel bar and might require a full restoration.
  2. When the rebar is exposed or corroded, it should be cleaned before it’s restored. Use a wire brush to clean the steel bar surface very well before you apply a protective coating. It could help to stop or prevent this.
  3. Once the problem is on the horizontal surface or within the driveway, plaza, or like sidewalks, you might need to apply a cement overlay. Once the overlay set is completed, the waterproofing membrane could be applied to stop also prevent concrete spalling.
  4. To carry out the successful repair, ensure that you remove a concrete near about 1.5 inches (35mm) deep. You should then clean and remove all debris before the repair commences.
  5. You can do that patching, so they extend 4″ beyond the area affected by concrete spalling.
  6. If you want to get better results, cut a rectangular part of the concrete so that the patching may be done also get the concrete contained within the specified area.
  7. Remove and clean all debris and ensure that all particles are removed. It might be cleaned with water, but the excess water should be removed with a sponge. The surface must dry up before the compound is applied.
  8. The old surface could be rough so as to allow for better bonding inside a new concrete.
  9. The best patching materials include epoxy also Portland cement.
  10. The patch material should be mixed very well, but you should consider that they may react or mix with what you want to use within 15 minutes.
  11. Ensure that the air temp. is above 40 degrees Fahrenheit if you want the patching to work well.
    Ensure you only use materials that have a similar expansion coefficient with that of the existing concrete.
  12. Before the joint is repaired, ensure it is restored properly so as to give some allowance for the expansion of the slab.


Spalling of Concrete

“Spalling concrete” refers to the phenomenon of surface patches of concrete breaking up and delaminating in the absence of immediate external influences such as accidental impact loads or fires.

How to Repair Spalling Concrete?

Repairing Process of Spalling of Concrete

  • Clean Spalled Concrete Area. Ad.
  • Remove Loose Concrete. Remove loose and broken concrete from the area using a hammer and chisel.
  • Clean and Coating Corroded Steel Bars.
  • Apply Repair Material Mixture.
  • Finishing.
  • Curing.
  • Apply Pain or Coat on Repaired Surface.

How to Repair Spalling Concrete Foundation?

Fixing Spalling Concrete

  • Power wash the area to be repaired well, removing all debris, grease, and other loose material.
  • Use the appropriate resurfacing mix or concrete patch compound that matches the existing concrete.

Foundation Spalling

Spalling is caused by water that’s released from inside the brick or cement, where the base gets pushed out. It can look like crumbling or flaking, especially around walls and floors. This is a serious issue and can mean that the integrity of your structure is compromised.

Spalling Concrete Repair Cost

Concrete resurfacing resolves spalling issues and costs an average of $2.50 to $4 per square foot, with a range of $1,400 to $2,300 for a 24′ x 24′ driveway. Spalling occurs when some sections start to crumble. It could also cause the driveway to separate into thin layers.

Spalling Concrete Foundation Repair

How can you fix a foundation spalling?

  • Remove the spalled concrete to remove all dirt and loose surface.
  • Treat any reinforced steel to prevent it from rusting.
  • Saturate the concrete with bonding agent before applying mortar and brush finish to match existing concrete.

Spalling Concrete Foundation

The main reason concrete foundations crumble is due to water exposure or saturation. This can happen if water directly touches your foundation or the soil next to your foundation is filled with groundwater.

Spalling Concrete

Concrete Spalling is the breakdown of concrete via natural weathering and/or chemical reaction that results in sections of cement chipping off the main body – often resulting in fractured, compromised concrete. Spalling looks like pitted acne scarring and breaks off in flecks which can expose rebar.

How to Fix Spalling Concrete Garage Floor?

  • Clean and Coating Corroded Steel Bars.
  • Apply Repair Material Mixture.
  • Finishing.
  • Curing.
  • Apply Pain or Coat on Repaired Surface.

How to Repair Spalling Concrete Driveway?

If your concrete is spalling, these are the repair options:

  1. Patch the spalled area with a color-matching compound.
  2. Have your concrete resurfaced with an overlay.
  3. Rip out and replace the entire slab.

How to Repair Scaling Concrete?

Dampen the cleaned concrete area and apply a thin layer of cement paste before concrete placement for resurfacing. Place proper concrete type to resurface the damaged area. Latex-modified concrete (polymer-modified cement concrete) is a good option.

Leave a Comment