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Concrete Pitting, Flaking, and Staining

Various types of concrete damage can be incurred through the installation process, and of course weather conditions and leaks. Learn how to identify them here.

Concrete pathways, driveways, and pool decks all make the first impression for your home. When it’s clean, smooth, and even, you won’t have anything bringing down your home’s safety or curb appeal. But when it’s stained, has little holes in it, or is even cracking and breaking off, you’ve got some problems. 

There are names for different types of concrete damage: pitting, flaking, and staining. Find out which one you have, and contact Peak Structural for a free inspection and quote to revive your concrete again.

You May Have Concrete Flaking or “Spalling” If…

Concrete spalling is almost like a rash on your concrete. Spalling looks like a blotch of your concrete that has been shallowly shaven or is flaking away. It looks a lot like this image, but can also take up a larger surface area, too. You may see it in your garage, driveway, sidewalk, or pool deck. Concrete spalls and flakes because of two main reasons: poor installation, and cold weather.

Too Much Water in the Mixture

During installation, a concrete mixture with too much water can produce weakened concrete that is more prone to cracking and flaking away. This can happen by just making the concrete mixture wrong, or by troweling the mixture too much, forcing the water to rise to the surface.

Winter Salting

Colorado boasts freezing cold conditions and lots of snow throughout the year. As a homeowner, you may want to get ahead of the hassle by salting your driveway or pathways to avoid shoveling. Salt unfortunately can deteriorate your concrete and accelerate the flaking or spalling process.

Freeze-Thaw Cycles

Concrete is a permeable material, meaning it soaks up moisture easily. During the peak months of freezing and thawing cycles in DenverColorado Springs, and Pikes Peak, your concrete is absorbing snowmelt, then refreezing. When water freezes, it expands. While concrete is permeable, it’s not flexible. So, it can soak up water, but it won’t expand when the water freezes. This can produce cracking or flaking off of the surface of the concrete.

You May Have Concrete Staining If…

Concrete staining is an extremely common occurrence for homeowners everywhere, especially since we park our cars, do yardwork, and other messy activities on our concrete. You can usually scrub or power wash these stains off. Concrete staining can usually come from: 

  • Oil stains
  • Fertilizer
  • Rust

But if none of the stains on your concrete resemble these three common stains, you could be dealing with something a little more serious. Especially if it’s affecting concrete in your basement or garage.


Having persistent liquid stains appear somewhere on your concrete is always a sign that there’s a leak afoot on your property. Whether it’s a leak from your car, a pipe leak, a hose leak, or an indoor leak in your basement, always have a professional inspect your home and concrete if you see a persisting leak stain.


Mold can occur to the concrete in your garage, around your pool, or in your basement if you have a particularly humid or consistently wet environment. If you spot mold, it’s vital to have it remediated or cleaned out by a professional. When allowed to fester, mold can have adverse effects on your health and safety if you’re living in it 24/7.


Efflorescence is a white, dry, and powdery substance that can be easily washed away, but may come back. Efflorescence can also be found in the concrete indoors, and it’s a result of a leak somewhere on your property. The white substance is dried salt deposits left behind after the water has evaporated outside or in your basement. If you spot efflorescence indoors, that means you have a leak on your hands.

You May Have Concrete Pitting If…

Concrete pitting looks like little craters or shallow holes in your concrete. This is typical of a driveway or sidewalk, but pitting can happen anywhere on your property where there is concrete. The main causes of concrete pitting come from deep within the mixture and are due to air bubbles, rainy weather on installation day, and too much accelerator in the mixture.

Air Bubbles

During the concrete pouring process, air can become trapped in the mixture. While oxygen is necessary to have in the concrete, too much of it will float to the surface as the concrete dries, causing tiny little craters or holes in the surface.

Too Much Accelerator

Concrete accelerator is a substance used in concrete mixture that speeds up drying and cure time. The issue it can sometimes present is that it doesn’t give the concrete enough time to “bleed” after the pour. “Bleeding” is when the right amount of water and air bubbles are allowed to slowly float to the surface where the wet, flexuous surface can re-form after air bubbles pop up.

Unforeseen Rain

Contractors typically try to install concrete on sunny days with a low chance of rain. But when a surprise drizzle makes an appearance during your concrete’s cure time, concrete pitting can be the result.

The easy answer to concrete pitting and flaking would be to fill in the holes with epoxy, but this is extremely time-consuming and not aesthetically pleasing. Many of these outdoor concrete issues like flaking, pitting, and staining can be exacerbated by erosion as well. Chances are, if you’re experiencing these issues, you’re also experiencing cracking and uneven concrete slabs, too. At Groundworks, we have long-term PolyRenewal™ concrete lifting and concrete restoration solutions that can revive your home’s curb appeal. 

The main causes for concrete pitting, flaking, and staining are linked to the installation. Whether you’re installing the concrete or you’re overseeing a contractor, ensure that the job isn’t rushed and that the weather is sunny with a very low chance of rain. Concrete is an unpredictable substance even when handled by the most experienced contractors; so, when it comes to finding a company for your concrete repairs, find one that can get to the root of your problems, so you won’t have the issues again.

If you’re noticing cracks and uneven slabs in your concrete, it’s time for a lift. You’ll want to go with the most lightweight solution so the problem doesn’t come back again. At Groundworks, we use a water-resistant polyurethane foam that can support your concrete for years to come no matter the soil or weather conditions.

Groundworks is Your Home for Concrete Repair

We’ve seen it all when it comes to concrete, foundation, crawl space, and basement repair. Call us for a completely free inspection to get to the root cause of your concrete’s unsightly appearance, and we’ll give you a free, no-pressure quote for repairs. 

You take pride in your home’s appearance, and we take pride in getting the job done the right way, once. Get started with Groundworks today.

Disclaimer: “Concrete leveling” means the process by which cracked, uneven concrete is stabilized, and in many cases lifted, by means of PolyRenewal™ polyurethane foam. Groundworks does not guarantee that PolyRenewal™ can make your concrete perfectly level.