1. Look for small chips in your driveway. These small chips can turn into large areas of chipped concrete. It’s called spalling. These damaged areas are difficult to repair
  2. Is the surface of your concrete protected from freeze-thaw cycles and harmful chemicals from deicers and fertilizers? Give it the water bottle test. Simply pour some water on your driveway or sidewalk, if your concrete darkens immediately and soaks up the water it is fully exposed to the effects of the harsh winter weather and chemicals that cause damage to concrete. If left exposed long enough your concrete will begin to spall and become permanently damaged.
  3. Look for cracks inside of your control joints (where two pieces of concrete meet). If you see cracks inside of your control joints, then water will flow under your slab causing erosion of the soil. This erosion will eventually cause your concrete to settle and crack and become uneven or drain water to areas that could cause damage to the interior of your home.
  4. Do you have uneven or settled concrete. These are serious trip hazards and should be addressed right away to prevent a friend, an elderly loved one, or a trick or treater from tripping and getting hurt. Trip hazards are most often caused by a lack of compaction during the building process or erosion caused by drainage issues. The most obvious slabs at risk are the ones where a void can be seen from the side. In these instances, the soil on the side has washed away along with significant soil underneath. Other situations to look out for are slabs on a hill or at the bottom of a hill. Concrete in these locations is likely to have rain water washing under it and eroding the soil. Slabs on level ground aren’t immune from this problem either. Check for gutter downspouts placed very close by, or adjacent structures with no gutter system at all. If a rain water management system wasn’t set up to direct water AWAY from the slab, there may be an issue. Another red flag would be cracks in the concrete. These damaged areas are nearly impossible to repair permanently when not addressed early on.
cracked concrete