How to Check and Prevent Peeling Concrete

Learn how to check for peeling concrete and take measures to prevent it from occurring in your home or building. Find out what causes peeling concrete and how you can fix it.

How to Check and Prevent Peeling Concrete

The telltale signs of concrete peeling are flaking, chipping, and large chunks missing from the surface, revealing the coarse aggregate beneath. To check the strength of the concrete, tap it with a hammer. If the hammer bounces off, the compressive strength is good. If it indents and crumbles, the concrete is weak and should be removed.

It's important to inspect the ceiling regularly for holes or cracks. These should be sealed immediately to prevent moisture and carbon dioxide from entering the concrete. Additionally, seal any drilled holes that are no longer in use (for example, after removing a ceiling fixture). Descaling is caused by cycles of freezing and thawing of concrete, which can have a diameter of 150 mm and a depth of 25 mm or more.

Splinters can be avoided by taking care when pouring concrete and using appropriate techniques, such as providing adequate coverage (embedding) of rebar and placing joints in the right places and at the right distances. The descaling of concrete is greatly influenced by material parameters such as permeability, porosity, moisture content, aggregate properties, reinforcement, and the presence of cracks.


is more common in cold climates when de-icing chemicals are applied or when seasonal freeze-thaw cycles damage concrete. In addition to aesthetic issues, flaking and delamination reduce the cross-sectional area of concrete, weakening it.

If left unattended for too long, peeling concrete will spread to a larger area and compromise the structure of the building. When removing concrete, it's also recommended to check the surrounding area for possible deterioration. Peeling concrete can cause damage to many types of structures, including multi-storey car parks, tanks, bridge components, quays of framed buildings, etc. Therefore, it's essential to take measures to prevent concrete from flaking and distorting the aesthetic appearance of a structure. This process is known as peeling or peeling concrete and is sometimes referred to as 'concrete cancer'.

It has serious potential to cause damage to buildings resulting in public injury and loss. In addition, delamination and descaling require more maintenance and incur higher subsequent maintenance costs, leading to decreased service life of concrete members. Chipping is similar to flaking but occurs deeper into the concrete, causing it to disintegrate into larger fragments. Homeowners can tackle chipping themselves with resurfacing products such as Rapid Set NewCrete (available from The Home Depot). Splinters can appear due to exposed rebar rusting or incorrect placement of concrete joints.

Fortunately, these can be easily fixed by hitting them with a hammer.