concrete driveway

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Old 02-13-01, 01:57 PM
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I have a 2 year old house. The driveway is starting to flake. It also has small holes that have developed. The builder will not return my phone calls. I live in Kansas City, MO. This just started to happen this winter. I did use some "ice melt" but stopped as soon as noticed flaking. What is causing this and what can I do? My wife thinks it is a bad batch of concrete and the builder should replace our driveway. Any answers would be greatly appreciated.

Also, I have notice some small cracks in the driveway. How bad is this? Will the cracks continue to get larger. They are now less that an 1/16" wide.

Thank you, Chris
 
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Old 02-13-01, 11:53 PM
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The pitting or spalling and scaling or flaking may be due the result of using "ice melt" (I am not familiar with the product) and it may be a combination of factors. If "ice melt" contains "ammonium nitrate" or "ammonium sulfate" or a urea derivative never use that product again. They are destructive to concrete.

For your information use of any deicer, necessary or not, causes some erosion. Rates of concrete erosion are measured in thousands of an inch. As a deicer, calcium chloride probably causes the least amount of erosion. Erosion can be compensated for to some degree in the mix design and during mixing, placing, and curing. But the success rate of most after the fact solutions, other than replacement, is poor to middling at best. A typical repair approach is a grout topping. A bad mix may be a factor also.

If you were to pursue legal action, omitting warrantees, then hard facts are required. Obtaining facts would be costly (sections removed; then analyzed by a certified test lab).

Cracks in concrete occur for various reasons. Absolutely crack free concrete is very rare. A wild guess would be a combination of "plastic shrink cracks" (occurs during the curing process) and "stress cracking" (occurs mainly because of lack of or poor placement of control joints). The cracks may be stable for years or they may open up more. If the concrete on either side of the crack is in the same plain, sand and cement or ready made crack filler can be use to fill them. If concrete has heaved you have another problem.

The concrete network http://www.concretenetwork.com is doing a fine job of providing concrete and related information. If you want to know more it's a starting point.
 
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