Concrete is one of the most durable building materials, but it does require occasional repair and maintenance. Problems can be caused by outside forces such as freezing water, structural problems or surface damage, which is usually caused by improper finishing methods or poorly mixed concrete.
Frost heaving, common in cold climates, forces concrete slabs out of the ground. Sunken concrete is usually caused by erosion of the subbase. General surface deterioration results from “overfloating”, which draws too much water to the surface and causes the concrete to weaken and peel. Overfloating is also a common cause of hairline cracks or “crazing.” Cleaning and sealing the surface will help prevent further crazing, but the long-term solution is to resurface.
Whatever the cause, it’s best to tackle concrete problems as soon as you discover them. Repair projects can span a wide range, from sealing a surface to replaicng an entire structure. The most common repairs are filling cracks and repairing surface damage. Another solution is resurfacing-covering an old surface with fresh concrete. A good surface repair can last for many years, but if there is underlying structural damage, it is only a temporary solution.