How long does it take for a brand new concrete driveway to start pitting and flaking?

I had a brand new concrete drivey installed at the end of Jul 2010. The old driveway was as old as the house, about twenty seven years old. The old driveway was cracked all over the place and uneven. We plan on selling our house in a few years and wanted to replace the driveway, 1 it really needed it and two, for aethetic reasons too.

Now, we’ve had a bad winter, as most people around the country have. I’m in KY . We’ve had a lot more than normal snow, so a lot of brine was used on the streets. I’d say the bad weather started around mid-December 2010 through Jan 2011, so about six weeks worth of falling and melting snow.

Well, our brand new driveway is pitting and flaking all over the place. Its starting to look like the driveway I had removed last Jul with the exception of the cracks. I cant even use the a regular garden hose, to hose off dirt and old leaves…..if turn the hose on to where it has somewhat of some pressure it flakes even worse! I’ll never be able to pressure wash the driveway. The reason I bring up the bad weather is that the contractor told me that salt causes this and there is nothing I can do……we dont salt our driveway – so the contractor said it was from the salt falling onto the driveway from our vehicles.

Ok to get to my question……So, six months after having a brand new drive way put in and six weeks of bad weather has ruined my driveway. The contractor is coming out soon to look at it and I was wondering can suggest questions I should ask him.

Background – the contractor didnt put a sealer on it, said it didnt need it. I’m really having a hard time wrapping my head arond the fact that I paid several thousand dollars for a brand new driveway and it looks like crap in six months. Believe me, I know OVER TIME it will crack and flake, but this fast? If I’d know this driveway would have looked like this now, I would have just kept the twenty seven year old 1 and saved my money for something else.

Any help would be appreciated.
To Common Sense: Does salt do that much damage in six weeks? No, we didnt seal it, we asked and he said we didnt need it.
To Harrison: No roots pushing up. We didnt seal and didnt use salt ourselves……could salt from our vehicles cause that much damage/

8 Comments on “How long does it take for a brand new concrete driveway to start pitting and flaking?

  1. Salt corrodes concrete. Didn’t you know that? And you did not have it sealed? You were ripped off by this so-called contractor.

  2. i heard you shouldnt salt a brand new driveway for a few years after its installed.causes problems like you have.could also be a problem with the concrete mix not enough or too much water etc.

  3. The contractor used a very poor quality concrete. The flaking and cracking is caused by too much water in the mix (water/cementious material ratio > 0.5) and not enough air content (EA < 3%). This was a very cheap concrete that should never have been used for a driveway. The contractor should NEVER have accepted that load of concrete. Oh to answer your question about how long... twenty to fifty years. Salt shouldn't affect it and sealing isn't necessary.

  4. Sounds like it wasn’t mixed right, mix was too wet (soupy) when applied, or was allowed to cure too quickly in hot weather (without being kept moist for a few days). No it shouldn’t need a sealer if it was finished correctly. Are there any roots pushing up underneath? Got a warranty?

  5. Hello Harrison, thank God for good sense. The Sea Wall in Galveston has been there since 1920???? If it’s placed correcty, it doesn’t screw up. I voted Harrison!

  6. I had a similar problem and my research concluded a couple reasons for it.. 1 if contractor floated it too much and brought water to the surface that will weaken its resistance to salt and freeze thaw cycle also poor grade quality cement ( the chemistry of cement I do not fully comprehend but it varies widely) also that the salt mixture that I used was supposed to be harmless to cement but actually caused more harm do not no why, and finally the water thin sealer i used was not durable and I should have used a better grade , thicker epoxy anyway maybe you can get it resurfaced I saw at home show where they epoxy small pebbles on the surface to hide small flaws and cracks and they guarantee it for several years and it actually looks better than cement

  7. There is NO correct answer. If the installation was done correctly, and the concrete is correctly cared for, it WON’T pit or flake during your lifetime. A poor installation will start pitting within days. If you did not seal the concrete, the damage started LONG before the winter weather. By the time you SEE the first damage, 90% of the ACTUAL damage is done.

  8. tell him you want to see the delivery slip… the concrete should have been at least a 3500 lb. mix with fiber added…air should have been added two -5%air…the surface should have been steel troweled or at least hit with a fresno and not just bull floated before they broomed it…ask him his finishing steps before you tell him this…and if you can see from the driver how much slump the concrete had when he poured it for the contractor…salt from a cars drippings may do a bit of damage but in 1 winter you shouldnt notice much…