Concrete is the most used man-made product in the world, and it’s only behind water as the most consumed product, period. Despite being the lifeblood of construction, concrete is not faultless. In this two-part article, a Portland construction attorney will be discussing common concrete issues and how to prevent them. It’s imperative that all contractors understand the problems that concrete can pose so that they can avoid costly litigation related to a construction defect. If you are ever held liable for a construction defect, consult with a Portland construction lawyer at Cotney Construction Law.
Discoloration may occur in small, light patches or it may darken an entire area of concrete. Concrete discoloration can occur when the mix composition is altered, curing periods are inconsistent, calcium chloride is added, or the finishing operations are premature. Concrete discoloration can be avoided through the following methods:
- Consistently using raw materials
- Preventing moisture loss
- Preventing concrete from coming into contact with plastic sheeting
- Implementing even curing methods
- Correctly implementing finishing operations
- Avoiding the use of calcium chloride
Scaling occurs when the concrete surface peels away. It begins as small patches that grow and combine to form larger areas of scaling over time. Scaling is caused by improper curing, exposure to deicing chemicals, improper finishing operations, placement during extreme weather, and poor air entrainment. Implement the following procedures to avoid scaling on your concrete project:
- Use proper curing methods dependent on weather conditions
- Avoid deicing chemicals, especially during the first few winter months
- Deploy concrete sealers to prevent concrete from absorbing weakening elements
- Use the correct concrete for outdoor projects
Just like it sounds, dusting occurs when concrete dust accumulates on the surface. Weak concrete that leads to dusting is caused by improper curing, bleed water pooling on the surface, carbon dioxide exposure, and exposure to inclement weather. Contractors can prevent dusting by employing the following methods:
- Avoid finishing operations when there is bleed water present on the concrete surface
- Proper curing methods
- Avoid exposing concrete to high amounts of carbon dioxide while it’s in its plastic state
- Avoid using vapor barriers
These are only a few of the many problems that can present themselves on a concrete construction project. Any one of them can cause headaches for a construction firm years after work on a project has finished. Always protect yourself against construction defect claims by keeping a Portland construction attorney at Cotney Construction Law on retainer.
For more information on common concrete issues, please read part two.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.