3 Spalling Concrete Repair Methods To Save Your Driveway

spalled_concreteDo you have a driveway that the surface is flaking away on?

Are you looking for spalling concrete repair methods?

Then you have come to the right place, in this post I will share with you 3 different spalling concrete repair methods that you could use in order to turn your unsightly driveway into something you can be proud of.

Spalling Concrete Repair Method 1 – Sandblasting

spalling concrete repair method 1One great way deal with your spalled concrete is to actually have someone come in and sandblast the surface away, heck it’s already coming off anyway. If you can’t beat em, join em right!


Sorry about that, but on a serious note. You can actually sand blast the surface of the concrete taking away as much as ¾ of an inch. But in most cases when it comes to spalling concrete then this will not be the depth needed, it will only be necessary to take off the surface itself.

If you go with this spalling concrete repair method you can actually create a very nice looking exposed aggregate finish and if you take care of it properly by keeping it clean and sealed for protection it could last you for years to come.

Spalling Concrete Repair Method 2 – Grinding or Polishing

polished spalling concrete repairThis repair method would probably be my personal last choice for a few different reasons. But I did want to mention this option because it may work for some people. And in fact you can create some very nice looking finishes with this method.

With this spalling concrete repair method you would actually have someone come in with a large walk behind grinder and grind the surface right off which will leave a smooth surface. They could actually go so far as to polish it for you which would create and even smoother surface and even do some decorative cuts and create something that will truly look amazing.

As I mention though I would not personally go with this method but I have seen it done before and it looks really good. The reason I would not do it personally is because when it comes to a driveway, smooth is not the best option, just my opinion though.

Spalling Concrete Repair Method 3 – Concrete Overlay

Spalling concrete resurfacerThis is probably the most common method used to repair spalled concrete driveways and probably the most cost effective as well.

With this spalling concrete repair method you would actually pour a thin topping right on top of your existing driveway.

Now some people may be a little leery of only pouring a topping because of the concern they may have with strength but the truth is, you do not pour just any regular concrete. There is special concrete overlay and resurfacing products that are designed specifically for this application.

The best part about the concrete repair method is in most cases it is something that the average person can do with the help of a friend or two.

Watch This Video To Learn About Quikrete Resurfacer

Click Here For More Information About Concrete Resurfacer

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  1. Veronica Marks

    I really like the idea of polishing the concrete, especially for our back patio. The concrete there has started flaking after having a really heavy patio set dragged around for years. We’ve gotten rid of the furniture, but the damage remains. I think it would look really fantastic to refinish the concrete out there.

  2. Concrete Tool Reviews

    Yes Veronica polishing does look really nice if it is done right. An issue that you run into that I don’t think I mentioned here is how slippery it could get. But there are additives that you can add to your sealer that will help with that though, like Seal-Krete for example.

  3. Andy Harrison

    For more severe issues, would it be best to have a professional come and do it? I know that for smaller things, I could do that myself. I wouldn’t want to attempt something larger and have it turn out wrong.

  4. Concrete Tool Reviews

    Absolutely get a professional to do it if you don’t feel comfortable. I think that it’s better to pay a little extra up front and have it done right than end up paying miter in the end because you couldn’t do it properly.

  5. Scott

    I didn’t realize that sandblasting could be used to repair concrete. I imagine it would be good to consult with a professional before doing this. I imagine it is important to know what kind of treatment is needed after you do this.

  6. Concrete Tool Reviews

    Hey Scott, thanks for checking out this post. And yes sand blasting works well to repair spalling concrete and looks good if you know what you’re doing. It is important though to make sure that you seal it religiously, I recommend 2 times per year. Consulting a professional is always the best thing to do and if you don’t what you’re doing hire a professional, it’s what they do, you’ll thank yourself later for it.

  7. Donald Patrick

    I really appreciate these tips for concrete repair. Very useful article!

  8. Margie

    Can this be done over a very damaged exposed aggregate driveway? We have quite a few cancerous places where the pebbles are continuously coming off.

    Any advice is appreciated!

  9. Lilian M Rogers

    Thanks for the info on grinding off spalling. I’m considering this option followed by sealing with a concrete densifier Radonseal and Ion Bond Armor. I just want to be sure that grinding will smooth over the roughness and not gouge it. The concrete was poured last October and suffered freeze damage that resulted in spalling with holes the size of dimes and no more than 1/8″ thick. I’m trying to avoid epoxy overlay because it only involves a 350 square foot section of a 1500 sq ft driveway and the epoxied section will look different. It’s hard to know what’s the right thing to do. Thanks for your advice.

  10. Concrete Tool Reviews

    If it is ground properly then it will not gouge it but I would not recommend just grinding a small section of your driveway, and grinding the whole 1500 sq ft can get a little pricey. It is hard to recommend exactly what to do without seeing it but a concrete overlay might be and option or else depending on the location you might consider removing and replacing a section.

  11. Brenda Manning

    Hello, Thanks for the article. My new concrete driveway was just poured yesterday, with the high temp of 43 degrees and the low of 32 degrees with a light drizzle. Less than 24 hours later, some shallow spalling is occurring; 92 small circular spots, to be exact. The contractor says it’s an issue with the mix and will be calling the concrete company. He also says he will repair it with a cement resurfacer to match. My question is this: what is the BEST way to not only temporarily repair it but also stop further damage and maintain the long term cosmetic and structural quality of my expensive investment? I feel my decision must be made in haste but I want it done right. Thank you!

  12. Brenda Manning

    Oh, and if it matters, I live in Fort Worth, TX 🙂

  13. Concrete Tool Reviews

    Hi Brenda, there is a small chance that it could be related to the mix of the concrete. Typically most contractors will try to blame the concrete mix design to take the heat off of them and vice versa. It is an ongoing battle between batch pants and finishers.

    I have a couple of concerns though, my first concern would be the low temp of 32 degrees. Did the contractor cover the driveway with insulated tarps after they completed the job? Typically concrete is good down to around 23 degrees but it is best practice to cover it with tarps if the temperature is expected to be around 32 degrees.

    My next concern is the light drizzle in conjunction with the low temperature. On a scorching hot day a light drizzle can actually benefit the concrete. However with the low temperatures that you poured in, the light drizzle could have caused your “spalling issue” without seeing pictures or actually seeing it in person it’s hard to tell really.

    You can email me some pictures of the spalling issue to chris@concretetoolreviews.com and I will have a look and let you know my opinion.



    Thank you for information and options. I live in Wisconsin and our driveway and stamped sidewalk was poured early October of 2017. It showed the spalling damage Spring of 2018, the contractor came and resealed it, but now with this Spring 2019 here the damage is exponentially worse even though the contractor said it wouldn’t be. I was thinking to do the overlay method, but so far have had 2 new professionals say not to do it with Wisconsin’s harsh winters. The sidewalk is textured stamped and colored and looks bad. I want to make the best decision because I BELIEVED the contractor last spring that it was the worse it was going to get and now I want to really make sure I do the correct thing to fix it. PS The contractor said he isn’t liable for spalling and even has it in his contract as so.

  15. Tom Kottmeier

    We live in San Marcos, CA, near San Diego. Our driveway is about 600 sq ft, and it has an applied surface that is cracking and there are chunks of it missing, showing raw concrete under. It’s about 1/8″ thick and looks like a textured wall. What would you recommend to remove this surface and refinish with something else? I like how the Quickcrete looks after finishing. Can it be colored (beige would be nicer than grey).
    I’m quite handy and could tackle the job by myself.
    Thanks for your advice.

  16. Mary Ellen Amos

    The day after my driveway was poured, I noticed a flaking. The concrete mix company sent out someone who “patched” the flaking. After he left, another spot appeared.
    I worried the whole driveway will eventually be affected. This is new construction and I have a limited time in which to demand restitution.

    What is the best fix for this?
    Would your resurfacer last for any length of time?
    Is there a permanent fix?

  17. Concrete Tool Reviews

    The permanent fix is going to be to tear it out a refinish it. Speak with the contractor who did this job for you but it is most certainly due to their workmanship that this happened. They will deny it but it’s usually one of a couple things: too much water in mix, too much water used while finishing or sealing up the surface too early with a steel trowel.

  18. Concrete Tool Reviews

    Yes you could certainly color the quikcrete mix. Just use caution when you are mixing and coloring it, the concrete color mixes don’t take much to color concrete. With that said, if you don’t get the mix bang on for each batch you make you’ll end up with a colorful driveway. As far as removing the surface I would just grind off any spalling of chipping areas and patch over it

  19. Concrete Tool Reviews

    Ya that is certainly a tough one. An overlay can last in the harsh winters. I’m in Canada and know a thing or two about harsh winters, lol. The problem is, it would need to be dome properly. Your best option would be to tear it out and re-pour it.

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